Dog Area is Open
Road work continues on Route 21. Please exercise caution and obey all construction signage.
Fairfield Road and Route 176, Wauconda
- During LCDOT's intersection improvement project, access to Lakewood, the Lake County Discovery Museum, the Lakewood Dog Exercise Area and all adjacent trails will remain open though minor interruptions or temporary closures may occur. Be alert to signage that may direct to alternative preserve entrances.
- Click here to view weekly LCDOT Project Status Updates, closure notices and project map.
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Named "Best Dog Park" by North Shore magazine, this special place is one of four designated areas in the Lake County Forest Preserves where dogs can run and play off-leash. This 30-acre are just for dogs features fields and wooded areas, and a large pond for swimming and retrieving games. It is fenced on two sides with access on the west side to the Des Plaines River Trail. Please pay close attention to your dog in this open area to make sure it does not stray.
If accessing the Des Plaines River Trail, remember that once you leave the Dog Exercise Area, you must leash your dog and stay on the trail at all times. Please note, dogs are not allowed in Independence Grove Forest Preserve. Please stay on the Des Plaines River Trail if hiking south from the Dog Exercise Area.
A permit is required to access this Dog Exercise Area. Annual or daily permits are available. The annual permit allows access to all four Lake County Forest Preserve Dog Exercise Areas. Daily permits can be purchased at a self-pay station located in the parking lot at each Dog Exercise Area.
Open daily, 6:30 am to 7 pm or sunset, whichever is later.
From April through October, this Dog Exercise Area is closed until 11 am on the first and third Thursdays of each month to allow for trail mowing and other maintenance projects. The closing reduces potential safety issues by separating visitors and dogs from operating mowers and other heavy equipment.