Despite the confusion, some call this community Belmont Central while others call it Belmont Cragin. The proper name for this area is Belmont Cragin according to the census and, of course, the city map. Belmont Cragin encompasses Belmont Central, Hanson Park, Cragin, Kelvyn Park, and covers a broad swath of Northwest Chicago. The neighborhood is a blend of single and multi-family homes, commercial facilities, and industrial areas including the headquarters for the Radio Flyer company. Until the 1980s, several other large manufacturers were located here. Today, most of those companies have moved out, leaving behind a gap that is taking years to fill.
The area now attracts both young middle-class professional and blue collar workers looking for affordable homes. A stroll through the city will take you past a mouthwatering array of Polish and Hispanic restaurants serving a variety of incredible cultural dishes. There are several dog-friendly parks in the area and pet stores within driving distance.
The terrain in Belmont Cragin is much like the rest of Chicago in that it couldn't get any flatter if someone had actually planned things to be this way. While this might work great for the many builders who have worked hard to craft the many homes and businesses that go to make up the neighborhood, it doesn't do much to make your walks exciting. The residential areas are lined with sidewalks, grassy strips, and plenty of shady trees. The beaches and parks of Lake Michigan are only a short drive to the east if you prefer walks that are perhaps a little more challenging and offer you and your pup something besides concrete to walk on. If you prefer to avoid the beaches, or simply want to stay closer to home, you can always make your walks more interesting by changing the route you take and giving your pup something new to sniff at on a regular basis.
For such a large area of Greater Chicago, you might expect Belmont Cragin to have more in the way of green spaces such as parks for you and your pup to make use of. However, there are three larger parks including Hanson Park, Riis Park and Playground, Blackhawk Park, and a few smaller neighborhood parks.
Hanson Park located right next door to Hanson Stadium is home to three baseball diamonds, at least one soccer pitch, and plenty of grass for the two of you to play around on. Of course, there are plenty of grassy strips between the sidewalks for your pooch to walk on to help keep his paws cool when going for a walk on hot summer days. Most of these areas are not specifically dog-friendly spaces, so you'll likely want to keep your pup on a leash throughout. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy the parks and their avaliable amenities with pooch in tow!