Two dogs running through grassy area at Off-Leash Dog Area
Open daily, 6:30 am until 7 pm or sunset, whichever is later.
Scheduled Maintenance:
Duck Farm Off-Leash Dog Area is CLOSED until 11 am on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, April-October.

Duck Farm
Off-Leash Dog Area

running dogs

Located in Lake Villa, this special place is one of five designated Off-Leash Dog Areas within the Lake County Forest Preserves where dogs can run and play off-leash.

The 48-acre fenced area features open fields, grass trails, toilets, water and a drinking fountain.

View Map

Active Projects | Duck Farm Off-Leash Dog Area

The improved Off-Leash Dog Area will be entirely fenced and feature a large open area, a separate enclosed area for small dogs weighing less than 25 pounds, shade shelters with seating, drinking water for dogs and people, toilets and parking lot.

The project features improvements compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including paved parking stalls, sidewalks to the restrooms, seating and drinking fountains.

To ensure the new area is ready for continuous dog traffic, it’s anticipated to remain closed until Memorial Day 2025. We thank you for your patience while improvements are made.

During construction, all other portions of the Off-Leash Dog Area will be open. Visitors should use the existing gate at the east end of the parking lot (by the existing restroom). Click on the Improvement Plan Map button below to see a map of what area will be closed and how to access the open areas.

Improvement Plan Map

Project Background

The District approved an ADA Transition Plan in 2017. One of the priorities was to address the Off-Leash Dog Areas. As part of the plan, the District designed the Waukegan Savanna Off-Leash Dog Area to meet ADA requirements and opened the facility in the fall of 2019. The next area of focus was the Duck Farm Off-Leash Dog Area. An improvement plan was designed and engineering was completed in 2022. The District is performing the construction with its own crews.

Questions or Comments? Contact Site Improvement Project Manager David Cook at 847-968-3280 or via email:

Permit Required

An annual or daily permit and a dog are required for entry. Permits allow access to all five Off-Leash Dog Areas. Daily permits can be purchased in advance via your mobile phone by downloading the Passport Parking app or visiting


Entrance is on Grand Avenue (Route 132), east of Route 83 in Lake Villa.


Open daily, 6:30 am until 7 pm or sunset, whichever is later.

Scheduled Maintenance

Duck Farm Off-Leash Dog Area is CLOSED until 11 am on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, April–October.  

Off-Leash Dog Areas

Using the Off-Leash
Dog Areas

Are there health and safety tips for visiting the Off-Leash Dog Areas?

For your dog's health and safety:

  1. Dogs must be at least 4 months old to visit.
  2. Determine if it's wise for your small dog or puppy to be off-leash with larger dogs.
  3. 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.
  4. The Lake County Health Department's low-cost pet vaccination clinics provide a convenient and affordable way to keep pets current with their shots and rabies tags.
  5. Leave sick dogs home. They are not allowed in the area when ill.
  6. Show your dog you care by asking your vet about visiting here.
  7. Learn about potential health issues, prevention, symptoms and treatment. The Lake County Health Department and the American Veterinary Medical Association offer information and other resources on environmental health and disease prevention.
  8. Make sure your dog is healthy and properly vaccinated against parvovirus and other diseases.
  9. 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.

Can I get a refund if my dog does not like the Off-Leash Dog Area?

Refunds are not available but we do recommend purchasing a daily permit first to test the Off-Leash Dog Areas. They are good at all five Off-Leash Dog Areas, so start your day early and discover your favorite.

What if a dog is behaving overly aggressive toward my dog and I don't see the owner?

Call 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger.

Is my dog required to wear a Forest Preserve dog tag?

No. Owners must display the annual permit vehicle sticker or the daily permit receipt on their vehicle while at the Off-Leash Dog Area.

Do you spray anything to reduce ticks at the Off-Leash Dog Areas?

We do not spray insecticide or use other methods to control tick populations. They are part of the natural system.

In Illinois, adult ticks are most active in April through June and again in early fall. 

If you are encountering numerous ticks we recommend discussing repellent options with your veterinarian and considering keeping your dog out of areas with tall vegetation during the peak times. We realize this is a challenge at the Off-Leash Dog Areas. On-leash excursions at nearby preserves with crushed limestone trails are an alternative option to reduce tick exposure and during muddy seasons. 

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