Off-Leash Dog Area

Great places to spend time outdoors with a canine companion.

Dogs in DuPage County Forest Preserves

“Safety first” is a good adage to follow when visiting a forest preserve with a pet. To that end, Forest Preserve District regulations require owners to keep their dogs leashed at all times when in the forest preserves.

Leashes help to keep dogs on the trail and away from harmful plants and unseen hazards, such as barbed-wire fences, sharp sticks, stinging insects and frightened wildlife. They lessen the chance that dogs will startle hikers, cyclists or equestrians or will bite other people or pets, no matter how unlikely that may seem. Leashes also ensure that dogs cannot disturb newly seeded areas or native plant communities — or the nesting or resting wildlife that use those areas for food and shelter.

  • The District welcomes dogs in most preserves but encourages owners to call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 for any site-specific restrictions.
  • Dogs must be leashed when not within the boundaries of an off-leash dog area.
  • Leashes cannot be more than 10 feet long.
  • Owners must not allow their dogs to disturb, harass, or interfere with wildlife or other visitors
  • Owners may not tie dogs to District trees, plants, buildings or equipment.
  • Owners need to remain with their dogs, especially in picnic and camping areas, keeping their pets quiet at all times.
  • Failure to keep a dog on a leash when not in an off-leash area or failure to properly dispose of dog waste could each result in a $75 fine.
  • “Dogs in the Preserves” contains rules and regulations and site locations. E-mail forest@dupageforest.org or call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 for a free printed copy or download Dogs in the Preserves.

Off-Leash Dog Areas

Off-leash areas are located at six DuPage County forest preserves. Owners must have their dogs’ valid off-leash permits in their possession when in the off-leash areas.

Forest Preserve

Off-Leash Dog Area Description

Blackwell 
in Warrenville

Fenced, 10 acres, south side of Mack Road 0.25 mile east of Route 59

Closed on Mondays until 9 a.m.

East Branch 
in Glendale Heights

Training pond, 60 acres, west side of Swift Road 1 mile north of North Avenue

Closed on Mondays until 9 a.m.

Greene Valley 
in Naperville

Fully fenced, 1.5 acres (small dogs)/14.5 acres (large dogs), east side of Greene Road south of Hobson Road and north of 75th Street

Closed on Wednesdays until 10 a.m.

Mayslake 
in Oak Brook

**Under Construction Starting April 2013**

A temporary area south of the parking lot is open during construction.

Please read for more information.

Fully fenced, 4 acres, east side of St. Paschal’s Drive south of 31st Street and west of Route 83

Closed on Thursdays until 9 a.m.

Pratt’s Wayne Woods 
in Wayne

Three-quarters fenced, 23 acres, east side of Powis Road 1 mile north of Army Trail Road

Closed on Thursdays until 9 a.m.

Springbrook Prairie 
in Naperville

Fully fenced, 37 acres, north side of 83rd Street west of Book Road

Closed on Thursdays until 10 a.m.

Annual and Daily Permits

Number of Dogs

DuPage Resident Fee

Nonresident Fee

First dog

$40\year $8\day

$150\year $20\day

Each additional dog 
(same owner)

$8\year $8\day

$25\year $20\day

Purchasing Dog Permits

Visitor Services
District Headquarters
3S580 Naperville Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 933-7248
Weekdays 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

In Person: Cash, Check or Credit Card
By Mail: Check or Credit Card
By Fax: Credit Card Only
Visa Mastercard Discover 

Applicants must be 18 years or older. Senior citizens, active U.S. military personnel or honorably discharged U.S. veterans are entitled to one free annual permit per household per year.

Annual permits are valid from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 of the same calendar year. Annual permits purchased after Sept. 1 are half price for the owners’ first dogs and are valid through Dec. 31 of the same calendar year. Fees for additional dogs are not discounted.

Daily Dog Permit Form   Annual Dog Permit Form 

Off-Leash Dog Area Guidelines

At any off-leash dog area, for everyone’s safety and enjoyment, dog handlers must:

  • Have a valid off-leash dog area permit for each dog and have their permits in their possession when in the off-leash areas. Permits are not transferable or refundable.
  • Keep dogs current on distemper, parvovirus and rabies vaccinations. Dogs must wear valid rabies tags at all times.
  • Not use animals — alive or dead — for any purpose.
  • Not use ammunition of any kind.
  • Not use devices that use an explosive force to propel a retrievable object.
  • Keep their dogs leashed when they are not within the boundaries of an off-leash dog area, especially when they are in a parking lot walking to and from their vehicles.
  • Carry leashes with them and leash and remove their dogs from the off-leash area at the first sign of aggression. Handlers are responsible for any injuries or damages that their dogs inflict on other people or other dogs.
  • Keep dogs in view and under control at all times.
  • Not bring unhealthy dogs or dogs that are in heat
  • Bring no more than three dogs at one time.
  • Keep the off-leash dog area clean by properly disposing of dog waste; failure to do so could result in a $75 fine.
  • Keep a watchful eye on children at all times to avoid injuries from unleashed dogs.
  • Not enter the training pond at East Branch; it is for dogs only.

There are two exceptions to these rules at two preserves. At Pratt’s Wayne Woods and East Branch forest preserve off-leash areas, dog handlers may, for dog-training purposes only:

  • Use blank ammunition.
  • Use, with caution, devices that use an explosive force to propel a retrievable object.

Owners are responsible for their dogs’ behavior. All Forest Preserve District ordinances, state statutes and administrative orders apply to the use of the off-leash dog areas. If Law Enforcement assistance is needed, call (630) 933-7240.

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