Best Dog Walking Trails In Chicago

September 6, 2013 7:00 AM


Let’s face it, walking on the same trail every day can get dull, and it can be boring for your dog too. If you have a set routine, you are likely seeing the same joggers, walkers and bicyclists and their dogs along your route. Why not add some fun to your daily routine by checking out a new route? Both you and Fido will enjoy the chance to explore new ground. In addition, some of the trails include dog parks, so you can let your dog get in a full workout before heading home. Just remember to keep your dog on a leash, and of course clean up after your four-legged friend. Don’t forget to bring a water bottle and container for you and your dog, especially on a hot day. To get started in finding a new route, consider checking out the following dog-friendly trails in the Chicago area.



Lakefront Trail
Chicago Park District
(312) 742-PLAY

What’s a walk in Chicago without a trip along the beach? The city’s Lakefront Trail, which stretches for 18 miles and provides a stunning view of Lake Michigan as well as the Windy City itself, is definitely worth walking with your dog. The trail has many access points, so you can easily enter and exit the trail. The paved trail is at Osterman Beach at Hollywood Avenue on the North Side and extends to Rainbow Beach on the South Side, and offers you plenty of opportunities to stretch, run, walk and people-watch. The trail also has a few dog-friendly parks along the way. For further information on hours and other requirements for the dog-friendly areas, contact the Chicago Park District.

Loyola Park
Chicago Park District
1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 262-8605

If you’re looking for another lakefront trail, consider checking out Loyola Park located in Chicago’s East Rogers Park neighborhood. The park has a walking trail that is just over half of a mile long, giving you plenty of space to get a quick walk in with your dog before or after work. There is plenty to see and explore at the park, including Lake Michigan and the beach. It is also a great place to meet up with your fellow dog friends.



Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access
The Forest Preserve District of Will County
Black Road, west of I-55
Shorewood, IL 60404
(815) 727-8700

If you’re looking for a walk in the woods, then consider checking out the DuPage River Access of Hammel Woods. The forest preserve features a trail that measures just under 2.2 miles, providing you and your dog with plenty of room to exercise. The scenic trail will be just what you and your dog need to relax while getting in a great workout. This forest preserve also includes a dog park, so let your pooch get a good run in with other canines. For additional information on permits for the dog park, check out the Forest Preserve’s website.

Related: Great Summer Workouts To Get You Out Of The Gym And Into The Sunshine

Glacial Park
McHenry County Conservation District
Route 31 & Harts Road
Ringwood, IL 60540
(815) 338-6223

Head north for a bit of a hike and check out Glacial Park with your dog. The McHenry County Conservation District’s park is a great way to explore nature, and includes a two-mile trail. While the trail is not paved, you can still have fun getting in some exercise while relaxing in the woods. Just remember to keep your dog on the leash, stick to the trail and bring a bag (or two) to pick up after your dog.

Blackwell Forest Preserve
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Warrenville, IL 60555
(630) 933-7248

For a hearty workout, consider heading to Blackwell Forest Preserve through the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. The preserve boasts approximately six miles of trails, giving you and your dog quite the workout. You can also let your dog check out Blackwell’s off-leash dog area. To visit the off-leash dog area, your canine companion will need a valid Forest Preserve District permit. For more information, check out the forest preserve’s website.

Related: Best Campgrounds In The Chicago Area

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

Watch & Listen LIVE