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10 Wonderful Dog-Friendly Beaches in Illinois (2023 Update): Off & On-Leash Places to Visit

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

azawakh dog running on a beach

Swimming is a great form of exercise for both high-energy dogs and dogs with mobility issues. So, swimming is an excellent option if you have a water-loving dog or are interested in finding new ways to keep your dog active.

Finding dog-friendly beaches in coastal states is a lot easier than in land-locked states, like Illinois. However, you can still find plenty of fun beaches and outdoor swimming areas all throughout the state that also happen to be dog friendly. Here are some of the best dog-friendly beaches in Illinois.

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The 10 Wonderful Dog-Friendly Beaches in Illinois

1. Belmont Harbor Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Belmont & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: Free, but Dog Friendly Area (DFA) tag registration is required ($10 for tag)
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Small beach with gentler waves
  • Beach is fully fenced
  • Can get crowded on weekends
  • Free parking is available Monday – Saturday

2. Montrose Dog Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ 601 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: Free, but DFA tag is required
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Fences run along three sides only, so keep watch of your dog
  • Spans 3.83 acres and is the largest dog beach in Chicago
  • Convenient cleanup area onsite

3. Moraine Dog Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ 2501 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park, IL
πŸ• Open Times: April – November
πŸ’² Cost: Annual membership fees (amount varies)
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes
  • Very clean and well-maintained beach
  • Daily passes aren’t available
  • Parking permits are required for all vehicles
  • Can get overcrowded on weekends

4. Gillson Dog Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Gillson Park Dog Beach
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: $43 annual permit for residents and $218 annual permit for non-residents
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from 6:00 AM – 10:30 PM
  • Clean and well-kept beach
  • Bathrooms and picnic tables nearby
  • Can be difficult to find parking

5. Duck Farm Dog Park

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ 21201 Grand Ave, Lake Villa, IL
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: $50 annual membership fee, $25 reduced fee from September – December
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM or sunset
  • 48-acre fenced dog park with wetlands for dogs to swim in
  • Onsite drinking fountain
  • Plenty of trails for leashed walks
  • Closed until 11:00 AM on first and third Wednesday of the month, April – October for scheduled maintenance,
  • Daily permit fee is $15 per dog for residents and $30 per dog for non-residents

6. Prairie Wolf Dog Park

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ 1917-2075 S Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: $50 annual membership fee, $25 reduced fee from September – December
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM or sunset
  • 44 acres of pet-friendly space with a pond
  • Pond is small and good for puppies learning to swim
  • Drinking fountains available onsite

7. Sunrise Park and Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ Sunrise Ave & Scranton Ave, Lake Bluff, IL
πŸ• Open Times: Memorial Day – Labor Day
πŸ’² Cost: $20 annual membership fee
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from 9:00 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Photo ID is needed for beach entry
  • On-leash dogs allowed in beach shelters
  • Dogs must wear dog tags at all times at the dog beach
  • Registration is required to get into the dog beach

8. North Marcum Beach

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ 11231 Marcum Branch Rd, Benton, IL
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes
  • Be alert for natural wildlife, including deer, foxes, and raccoons
  • Area has picnic shelters, grills, and water fountains
  • Plenty of opportunities for outdoor water activities
  • Hiking trails are nearby

9. Beck Lake Dog Park

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ 1000 E River Rd, Des Plaines, ILΒ 
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: $60 per dog for Cook County residents and $120 per dog for non-residents
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from sunrise to sunset
  • Spacious 40 acres of land
  • Maximum of three dogs per person
  • Membership provides access to two other off-leash areas
  • Onsite outdoor shelter
  • Connects to a 9-mile hiking trail (leash required)

10. Batavia Bark Park

πŸ—ΊοΈ Address: πŸ“ 40W101 Main St, Batavia, IL 60510
πŸ• Open Times: Year-round
πŸ’² Cost: Free
πŸ• Off-Leash: Yes, from 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Completely fenced area with agility equipment and small pavilion
  • Small pond for dogs to swim in
  • Free entry and no pre-registration required
  • Close to a walking path

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Conclusion

Illinois has many recreational parks and facilities that also have dog-friendly swimming areas. Most of these areas have policies, and you can encounter hefty fines if they’re violated. So, make sure to check their websites for the latest updates before you visit them. This will ensure that you and your dog have a fun day filled with enjoyable outdoor activities.


Featured Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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