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Escape to the Trails with Man's Best Friend

Free rein for you and your dog at area beaches and trails.

No doubt it’s been a long winter for us humans. Same goes for our canine friends. Now that the snow has melted and temperatures are eeking above 40 degrees, why not treat you and your best four-legged friend to some fresh air and room to run. If you love your dog as much as we love ours, their utter joy in running free will turn your winter frown upside down.

As residents of Lake County, Lake Forest and Lake Bluff dog owners can enjoy daily access to all four of the county’s dog exercise areas. Prairie Wolf is just minutes away on Waukegan Road north of Half Day Road.

Just north of Buckley on Milwaukee Road is the Independence Grove Dog Exercise Area, voted best dog park by North Shore Magazine. For $5/day, any Lake County resident can take up to three dogs to the gated park provided the dog is at least four months old and has a current rabies vaccination tag number. Self-pay stations are located in each parking lot; simply attach the permit to your windshield as directed.

If you want the walk too, don’t forget the miles of Lake County Forest Preserve trails and Lake Forest Open Lands trails available nearby. Sunrise Beach in Lake Bluff is also open to dogs. Residents of Lake Bluff can take their dogs to the beach at no charge, provided they have a registered dog tag through the Lake Bluff Park District. Non-residents can purchase an annual Dog Beach Pass through the Park District for a charge of $150.

Whether it’s just you and your dog, or the whole family, there’s no better excuse to get outside.

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