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Forest Preserve Dog Parks
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In 2015, the Forest Preserve is beginning a three-phase development of Plum Valley Preserve in Crete Township. View more information.
Dogs in the Preserves

Dogs are permitted at forest preserves but are prohibited at designated State Nature Preserves unless otherwise posted.

Five preserves also provide dog parks for off-leash dog exercising. These dog parks feature fenced areas where owners can let their dogs run free. A permit is required to use the parks. The District offers dog parks at:

Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access in Wilmington (9 acres, including a separate 3-acre park for dogs under 35 lbs.)

Hammel Woods - DuPage River Access in Shorewood (8.5 acres)

Lower Rock Run Preserve - McClintock Road Access (7.5 acres, including a separate 2.5-acre park for dogs under 35 lbs.)

Messenger Marsh in Homer Glen
(7 acres, including a separate 1.1-acre park for dogs under 35 lbs.)

Whalon Lake in Naperville
(11.9 acres, including a separate 1.9-acre park for dogs under 35 lbs.)

Dog Park Permits

A permit is required in order to use the dog parks, and the permit must be displayed on its lanyard during dog park use.

Permit Type
Will County Residents Fee
Non-Residents Fee
One Dog
Two Dogs
Three Dogs
One Dog
Two Dogs
Three Dogs
Annual (Issued January-June)
Annual (Senior Citizen*)
Half-Year (Issued Beginning July 1)
Half-Year (Senior Citizen*)

*The Senior Citizen fee applies to ages 65 years or older.

Annual permits are available for purchase from November 1 through June 30. Half-year permits are available for purchase July 1 through October 31.

Annual and half-year permits are valid for the calendar year. Permits for 2015 will expire December 31, 2015.

An applicant can register up to three dogs maximum. The applicant must provide a current rabies tag number and expiration date for each dog. Applicants will receive a permit and ID lanyard to wear while visiting the park.

An annual, half-year, or daily dog park permit may be purchased by visiting the Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir Visitor Center in Monee, or Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher. 

Permits may also be purchased by downloading the Dog Park Permit Application and mailing it with fee to the Sugar Creek Administration Center.

As a special bonus, our valued partner, Pet Supplies Plus, has an exclusive offer for the District's dog park permitholders! Bring your Forest Preserve District of Will County Dog Park Permit (lanyard) to any of the Pet Supplies Plus locations listed below, and receive 10% off your purchase of all non-food items! (Note: Dog park permits are no longer sold at Pet Supplies Plus.)

270 Bolingbrook Drive (Route 53), Bolingbrook, IL 60440 (630.739.7777)
720 Ogden Avenue, Naperville, IL 60563 (630.904.2100)
2747 Forgue Drive, Naperville, IL 60564 (630.904.0500)

(This discount is valid at any of the above listed locations, and may not be used in conjunction with any other coupons or offers.)

Dog Park Regulations

Girl With Dog at Dog ParkThe following regulations must be followed by dog park users. Tickets may be issued for failure to follow these regulations.

Because of the plant and animal habitats that make preserves unique, District regulations require that a dog must be on a leash of no greater than ten feet in length when not in a designated dog park.

All users are required to purchase a dog park permit prior to entry, and to wear the ID lanyard at all times when in the dog park.

Owners may only have three dogs in the park at one time.

Dogs must be leashed when entering and exiting the dog park.

Please use caution when visiting the dog park, and leash and/or remove your dog from the park at the first sign of aggressive behavior.

Owners must remain with their dogs inside the fenced dog park and keep their dogs under control at all times. Dogs must not be allowed to disturb, harass, or interfere with wildlife or visitors.

Owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries or damage caused by their dogs.

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and not left unattended at the dog park.

Dogs must display a current rabies tag.

Owners must leave unhealthy dogs and those in heat at home.

Caution and good judgment should be used when introducing puppies to the dog park.

Puppies under six months of age are not allowed.

Owners must clean up after their dogs by requirement of Ordinance 124.

Small dog treats for training purposes are permitted; please refrain from bringing other food or treat items into the dog park.

No alcohol is allowed in the dog parks.

Dogs are not permitted to wade or swim in Whalon Lake.

Failure to comply with any of the above rules may result in fines and/or revocation of your dog park permit.

Additional regulations apply. For more information, download the District's General Use Ordinance No. 124 or call 815.727.8700. All state, county, local, and District ordinances will be enforced.
Dogs in Dog Park
Photographs Courtesy of Ron Molk and Adam Plecker
Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access is located on Ballou Road, east of Route 102 in Wilmington. (Google Map It!)

Hammel Woods - DuPage River Access is located on Black Road, west of I-55 in Shorewood. (Google Map It!)

Lower Rock Run Preserve - McClintock Road Access is located on McClintock Road, just northwest of Route 6 in Joliet. (Google Map It!)

Messenger Marsh is located on South Bell Road, south of Route 7/159th Street in Homer Glen. (Google Map It!)

Whalon Lake is located on Royce Road, west of Route 53/Bolingbrook Drive in Naperville. (Google Map It!)
For Information
Forked Creek Preserve: 8 a.m.-Sunset

Hammel Woods: 8 a.m.-Sunset

Lower Rock Run Preserve: 8 a.m.-Sunset

Messenger Marsh: 8 a.m-Sunset

Whalon Lake: 6 a.m.-Sunset (April-October)
8 a.m.-Sunset (November-March)
Photo Galleries
Gallery Category: Howloween Hoopla 2014
Gallery Category: Hugs for Hounds 2015
Maps & Brochures
Dog Park Permit Application
Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access Map
Hammel Woods Preserve Map
Lower Rock Run Preserve Map
Messenger Marsh Preserve Map
Whalon Lake Preserve Map
View All Preserves
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17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
815.727.8700 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Weekdays
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