Dogs in the Preserves

Tips for Visiting During COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Beginning July 10, off-leash dog areas resume their normal hours (one hour after sunrise). Click here for the announcement.
  • Bring plenty of extra pet waste bags with you — they will not be stocked in the dispensers.
  • Don't touch entry gates and other surfaces with your bare hands. Use a clean pet waste bag to cover your hand as you manage the gate latch. Gloves or a clean towel may also be options.
  • Bring hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes with you.
  • Wear a cloth face mask in public settings.
  • Stay on the move during your visit. Do not gather or linger near entrance gates, shelters or any other areas.
  • Practice social distancing between you and other dog owners (stay at least 6 feet away from the next person).
  • Warn other users of your presence and allow proper distance when you pass. 
  • Display your permit so Forest Preserve District staff can see it and stay socially distant from you.
  • Stay home if you're sick or h ave been near someone who's sick.
  • Cover coughs/sneezes.


Dogs in the Preserves

Make DuPage forest preserves your destination for four-legged fun. Dogs are welcome at most preserves as long as they’re on leashes under 10 feet long. Leashes keep dogs on the trails and away from harmful plants and unseen hazards. They lessen the chance dogs will startle hikers, bikers or horseback riders or bite other pets or people (no matter how unlikely that may seem). They also ensure dogs can’t disturb nesting or resting wildlife. You can't tie dogs to trees, plants, buildings or equipment, and you must remain with them and keep them quiet at all times,  especially in picnic and camping areas.



Off-Leash Areas

Enjoy off-leash fun at our off-leash areas at Blackwell, East Branch, Greene Valley, Hawk Hollow, Mayslake, Oldfield Oaks and Springbrook Prairie, but you need a permit for each dog you bring. You can have permits for any dogs you own but can only have three dogs at an area at one time.


Permits & Fees

Dog owners can purchase daily and annual permits online 24/7For other options, download our off-leash dog area permit application (PDF) or call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248. You can also purchase a permit in-person at Visitor Services at our Danada headquarters in Wheaton Monday – Friday 8 a.m. –  4 p.m.

The Forest Preserve District determines ownership based on a dog's county-specific rabies certificate. Dogs must be registered in the county in which they reside with their owners. According to the DuPage County code of ordinances, DuPage County dog owners must "register their animal with the DuPage County Animal Care and Control within 30 days of establishing residency."

Off-Leash Dog Area Permits

Annual permits are valid January – December only. *Fees are prorated each year after Sept. 1.

DuPage resident dog owner

Owner's first dog

Each additional dog (same owner)

Prorated fee (Sept. 1 – Dec. 31)
$25/through end of year

Daily permit

Nonresident dog owner
Owner's first dog

Each additional dog (same owner)
Prorated fee (Sept. 1 – Dec. 31)
$80/through end of year

Daily permit

Senior citizens (65 and older), active military and veterans are entitled to one free off-leash dog area permit per household per year. 

We’ve made renewing your off-leash dog permit even easier! If you’ve qualified for an off-leash dog area permit in the past two years, our system will now credit you at the time of completing your online transaction. 

If this is the first time you’re requesting a free permit, we ask you to provide your proof of age (driver's license or birth certificate) and/or military-service status (active status or a DD-214 Member 4 form) first. In subsequent years, you will be credited automatically. 

If your military status or contact information changes, contact Visitor Services at 630-933-7248.


Off-Leash Dog Area Locations

Fenced 10 acres on the south side of Mack Road 0.25 mile east of Route 59
Opens 9 a.m. Mondays
East Branch 
Training pond on 60 acres on the west side of Swift Road 1 mile north of North Avenue
Opens 9 a.m. Mondays
Greene Valley 
Fenced 14.5 acres for all dogs and 1.5 acres for small dogs on the east side of Greene Road south of Hobson Road and north of 75th Street
Opens 10 a.m. Wednesdays
Hawk Hollow 
Fenced 34 acres with two rotating 2.1-acre areas for large dogs and 0.7 acre for small dogs area off Bittersweet Drive just south of Stearns Road
Opens 10 a.m. Tuesdays
Fenced 3.5 acres for all dogs and 0.5 acre for small dogs on the east side of St. Paschal Drive south of 31st Street and west of Route 83
Opens 10 a.m. Thursdays
Oldfield Oaks 
Fenced 6 acres for all dogs and 0.6 acres for small dogs on Cheese Road east of Lemont Road south of 87th Street
Opens 10 a.m. Tuesdays
Springbrook Prairie 
Fenced 37 acres on the north side of 83rd Street west of Book Road
Opens 10 a.m. Thursdays


Off-Leash Rules & Regulations

For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, you must follow these rules and regulations, which the Forest Preserve District may change at any time. You can bring up to three dogs to an area at one time, but the following applies to each.

  • Carry your dog’s permit with you when using an off-leash area, and present it to a Forest Preserve District agent for inspection if requested.
  • Keep your dog up to date on distemper, parvo and rabies vaccinations and make sure it’s wearing its rabies tag on its collar.
  • Keep your dog in view and under control at all times and keep a watchful eye on children.
  • Close the gate as you enter and exit the off-leash area, and leash your dog when you’re outside the area.
  • Carry a leash and leash and remove your dog at the first sign of aggression. You are responsible for the behavior of your dog and for any injuries or damages it causes to people or other dogs. 
  • Never bring your dog if it’s sick or in heat.
  • Do not allow your dog to dig holes.
  • Properly pick up and dispose of all dog waste. Failure to do so could result in fines up to $120.
  • Keep out of ponds or other waters; they are for dogs only.
  • Do not bring a toy that’s smaller than a tennis ball. If you bring any toys or treats, do not give them to other dogs, and make sure to take them with you when you leave.
  • Never use animals — dead or alive — for any purpose.
  • Never use ammunition or devices that use explosive forces to propel retrievable objects. There is one exception to this rule. At the off-leash area at East Branch Forest Preserve, you may — for dog-training purposes only and with extreme caution — use blank ammunition or devices that use explosive forces to propel retrievable objects.

As a permit holder you agree to abide by these rules and regulations as well as all Forest Preserve District ordinances and administrative orders and state statutes. You also understand that the Forest Preserve District may fine you or revoke your permit without refunding your permit fee if you supply false information on your application or fail to comply with any rules, regulations, ordinances, orders or statutes.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!

Reserve Facility
Purchase Permit