Best Pet-Friendly Camping Spots In Chicago

July 15, 2016 7:00 AM

Your fur baby is welcome at all of the following campgrounds, however, rules include keeping him or her on a leash when he’s outside of the camper, tent or vehicle (check individual campgrounds for leash length), and cleaning up after the little dear’s messes. In addition, pups are usually not allowed in rental cabins in case the next guests have allergies.
Chicago Northwest KOA
8404 S Union Rd
Union, IL, US 60180
(815) 923-4206
koa.com/campgrounds/chicago

The KOA nearest O’Hare International Airport and the city of Chicago (60 miles), offers free Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, mini golf, individual showers, propane and firewood to purchase, bike rentals and planned activities on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It offers pull-through RV sites, tent sites, rustic camping cabins and fully equipped travel trailers to rent but cabins and trailers are not dog friendly. Families will like the campground’s proximity to Donley’s Wild West Town and the Illinois Railway Museum, both in the tiny town of Union. Head camper, Sylvia Weber, says, “We are apet friendly park with walking trails and a fenced in dog run. We don’t charge for pets and don’t have a restriction on how many pets a guest can bring but there are certain dog breed restrictions.”

Paradise Camping Resort
11122 Station St
Garden Prairie, IL, US
(815) 597-1671
paradisecampingillinois.com

The family-owned and operated resort, located on the way to Rockford in far northwest Garden Prairie, offers over 60 acres of outdoor fun. Bring your suit to tube on the Kishwaukee River and swimming in the resort’s lake. Fish in the river and ponds, bike, hike and play basketball, sand volleyball and good old fashioned horseshoes. Kids will like horsing around on three playgrounds and game room if the weather turns. There’s a dog wash and a dog park on the premises.

Mendota Hills Campground
642 US 52
Amboy, IL, US
(815) 849-5930
www.mendotahillscampground.com

Mendota Hills Campground sits amid more than 125 acres of rolling hills in a forest of oak with traditional camp amenties like a swimming lake with a sand beach, additional lakes for fishing and canoe, kayak and row boating. It’s all here, from a golf driving range, fields and trails to a campstore and even a church service and a frog jumping contest on Sundays. Your doggie is welcome to join you as long as he’s leashed and has a chill personality. Look into the White Buffalo Music Festival taking place over an August weekend with over 30 bands.

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Chain O’ Lakes State Park
8916 Wilmot Road
Spring Grove IL 60081
(847) 587-5512
www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/ChainOLakes.aspx

If you love water sports, Chain O’Lakes State Park offers a boatload of activity on nearly 6,500 acres of water and 488 miles of shoreline. There are plenty of campsites (over 225) in which to rest after a day on the water, picnic, bike or equestrian trails or hike on four trail systems.  Pets are allowed at campsites but they must leashed at all times.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Resort
8574 Millbrook Rd
Millbrook, IL, US
(630) 553-5172
www.jellystonechicago.com

Smarter than the average parents will go for Yogi’s place, where you can bring your pet for an extra $5 per pet per night. Splash in two heated pools. quiet down by painting ceramics, play mini-golf and enjoy the recreation center. The General Store is stocked with camp needs and themed weekends are extra fun for families.  Enter bags and horseshoe tournaments or a talent show and cool off playing water balloon toss and pool games.

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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.