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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation


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Dog Sledding


Haw! Gee! Grab your sled or tow line and head for our Dog Sled Area at Waukegan Savanna. The only one of its kind in the Chicago metropolitan area, this special place is designed for mushing, competitive dog sledding and skijoring (skier pulled by dogs). The site's wide-tracked 2.8-mile trail system features a number of decision points for training teams to respond to direction commands.

Get your sledding pups moving even during the warmer off-season months when dog teams may use wheeled training carts.

In the warmer months, and when winter conditions are not good for dog sledding, hikers also can enjoy the mowed trails, but must yield the right of way to dog teams using the warm-weather wheeled training carts.

Horse-drawn Vehicle Trails

Privately-owned horse-drawn carts, gigs and sleighs are also permitted here. Learn more »

Permit Required

An annual permit allows one sled team or one skijorer team access to the Dog Sled Area. A team consists of no more than one sled and six dogs per sled, or two dogs per skijorer. Annual permits are valid for the calendar year only, and are not prorated.

Annual Permit Fee
$50 Lake County residents
$100 nonresidents

How to Purchase

Before you can purchase a permit, you'll need the license plate number for each car you wish to register.

Using the Dog Sled Area

For everyone's safety and enjoyment, please adhere to the following rules, regulations and restrictions. Violation may result in a fine or suspension of permit use. For questions or a complete list of rules, you can view all ordinances governing the use of preserves and trails, or call 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger.

Rules and Regulations

For everyone's safety and enjoyment, please:
  1. Each sled team or skijorer is required to have a permit. Use at your own risk. Display vehicle sticker on your car's windshield below the tinted area. Stickers are not transferable. Replacement stickers can be purchased by current annual permit holders.

  2. Park in lots only. Loitering in lots is prohibited. Vehicles left after closing will be towed at owner’s expense.

  3. Keep dogs leashed or harnassed at all times.

  4. Sled teams may consist of up to six dogs. Skijorers may be pulled by one or two dogs.

  5. Pass only when necessary. Pass on the left and announce passing by calling “TRAIL!”

  6. Hikers and skiers must yield to sled teams.

  7. Approved canine activities include dog sledding and skijoring. During the warmer off-season months, dog teams may use wheeled training carts.

  8. Alcoholic beverages, food, dog toys, treats, chews and rawhide are not permitted. 

  9. Horses, cats, other pets, game animals or birds are not permitted. 

  10. Bikes, snowmobiles, camping, fires, collecting, hunting, firearms, releasing animals or non-native plant species, and off-road or motorized vehicles are not permitted.

  11. Children must be accompanied by an adult and are expected to behave appropriately. Do not run or chase after dogs, and never attempt to pet other dogs unless permission is granted by that dog's owner.

  12. You must remain in the Dog Sled Area with your dog and closely supervise your dog at all times. You are solely responsible for controlling your dog. You must maintain visual contact and voice control of your dog. If aggressive behavior is observed, you must remove your dog from the area. You are responsible for any injury or damage to other dogs or the public caused by your dog. 

  13. Clean up after your dog. Bags provided. Deposit bags and all other litter in proper receptacles. Failure to pick up after your dog could result in a $85 fine.

  14. Violation of rules, regulations or restrictions may result in a fine and/or suspension of permit use.

For your dog's health and safety:

  1. Dogs must be at least four months old to visit.

  2. Dogs must have a current rabies vaccination tag and number, as required by state law. If your dog's vaccination is not current, please call your vet. Consult with your vet regarding other recommended vaccinations or preventives.

  3. Leave sick dogs home. They are not allowed in the area when ill.

  4. Show your dog you care by asking your vet about visiting here: 

  • Learn about potential health issues, prevention, symptoms and treatment. 

  • Make sure your dog is healthy and properly vaccinated against parvovirus and other diseases. 

  • The soil throughout the eastern United States may contain spores that can cause blastomycosis. Chances are small that a dog will inhale them, but knowing symptoms gives time for treatment.

Ordinance violations and fineable offenses:

  1. Clean up after your dog. Bags provided. Deposit bags and all other litter in proper receptacles.

  2. Control your dog and maintain visual contact and voice control at all times.

  3. You are responsible for any injury or damage to other dogs or to the public caused by your dog.

For Assistance or to Report a Problem:

  • For emergencies, call 911.
  • For nonemergencies, violation of rules, or aggressive behavior of another dog or owner, call 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger.
  • You can also contact our Public Safety Office at 847-968-3411, 6:30 am–3 pm, weekdays.

HOURS & Location

6:30 am–sunset, daily.

The Dog Sled Area offers visitors an open, rolling grass field. It is part of the larger Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve. Entrance is on the north side of Yorkhouse Road just west of Delaney Road.

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