A large parking area welcomes dogs and their humans to the off leash area. Here, you will find a port-a-potty for the humans, and clean-up bag stations for the pups. Be sure to grab a few bags, and pick up whatever your dog leaves behind in the preserve. There's also benches for you to take a rest on, but it won't be long before your dog pulls you down one of the paths into the preserve. Once past the parking area, you can unclip the leash and let your dog explore.
Grassy meadows with lots of trees and greenery let your dog know they are truly back to nature. Trails weave through the meadows where there's lots of space for your dog to romp and play. The off leash area surrounds a few ponds with some small beach areas that welcome your dog to dip in a paw or more. Bring a towel if you have a water lover, as they can get wet and muddy! If you want to jump in with your pup, you'll have to sit this one out, as swimming here is just for the dogs! This natural space is not fenced, so while your dog is encouraged to run amok off leash, if you have a pup who's not good with voice commands, it may be smart to keep them leashed.
Be sure to bring some drinking water and a bowl for your dog, as all that adventure is sure to get them thirsty. Don't let your dog dig or disturb the delicate plants and wildlife in this natural habitat.
To access this woofderful pup playspace, you'll need to get a permit. Permits are available to residents for $10 per dog, per day, or you can get an annual pass for $50 for the first dog and $10 for each additional canine. Non-residents may purchase a daily pass for $20 per dog, per day, or $160 annually for the first dog and $27 for each additional dog. Seniors, active military personnel, and veterans receive an annual pass for one dog at no cost. You'll also need to show proof of current vaccinations, and have current city dog license and rabies tags.
For a great day reconnecting with nature, bring your furry explorer to the East Branch Forest Preserve Off-Leash Dog Area!