South Loop Dog Parks
Your first dog. Do you remember the feeling you had when you got it? Of course you do. For many of us in Chicago, our love of dogs is a lifelong affair. And as we grow up, we learn to love them as more than just pets. They become part of the family.
One in three people in the United States owns a dog. With nearly 3 million people calling Chicago home that means almost 1 million dogs live within the city area across various neighborhoods and suburbs.
One area in particular that has seen a spike in growth is the South Loop. Home to a variety of luxury apartments, historic museums, and beautiful parks, the South Loop has a surprising amount of wide open spaces and places to explore. That also makes it a perfect home for some of the best dog parks Chicago has to offer.
They are in no particular order, and contain all the details you need to find the best place to visit with your furry friend. We evaluated the parks by size, location, amenities, and everything else dog owners deem important in a dog park. We also included the history of the park where available and any recent updates or improvements that have been made.
If you are a resident of South Loop, you might not realize how many incredible dog parks there are in your own backyard. So, whether you live in the area, or are looking to explore a different part of the city, here are a few of the South Loop’s best dog parks.
Grant Bark Park
Grant Bark Park is a beautiful, 18,000 sq/ft. area located behind the Chicago Park District Maintenance building on Columbus Drive. Two paths can be used to enter the park, one from the 11th street bridge, and another from Columbus Ave. By Chicago standards, it is a larger-than-average dog park at roughly half an acre, and the convenient location makes it hard to beat.
The dog park hours make both early risers and night owls happy, from 4:30am-11pm. So whether you need to get some exercise with your dog when you wake up, or you need to unwind after a hard day at work, Grant Bark Park is definitely worth checking out. Fully fenced, double-gated, and decent lighting for the early morning and late-night hours means security for you and your fur baby.
Fresh water and well-stocked bag dispensers offer the right amenities for all dog owners. The park, however, does not offer a small dog area, but rather one open area for all dogs. This will not be a problem for larger dogs, but smaller pet owners may want to pick a less crowded time of day.
The Dog Park at Lakeshore East
The Dog Park at Lakeshore East is located at 450 E. Benton Place. The location of the dog park might be difficult to find for first-time visitors but so worth the adventure.
The dog area is actually inside The Park at Lakeshore East, which is beautiful in and of itself. Finding the dog park means a walk through a 4-acre urban botanical garden. The garden hosts a playground, splash pad, and lighted fountains.
After taking in the breath-taking scenery, you’ll find yourself inside a well-protected dog park. The walk alone would rank this park as the #1 dog park in the city. Although small in size at only 0.14 acres, it makes up for it in natural beauty. The surfaces are a mix of concrete and artificial K9 Grass. The grass is even regularly sprinkled to keep it clean. A Facebook group specifically for this dog park means a strong community group for you and your pet.
Fred Anderson Dog Park
The Fred Anderson dog park is a relatively new dog park in the South Loop. It’s off Wabash between 16th and 18th Street, or 1611 S. Wabash if you are using Google Maps. This unique park accommodates dogs of all sizes, with a separate area for large and small dogs. So, small dog owners rejoice!
The design of the park has been a community effort. Park District staff members and an architectural firm worked with local community members to design the dog-friendly area to be safe and attractive for the local musicians performing in the stage area. Utilizing safety fencing and doggy fountains highlights the importance of animal care that went into the designs. And both large dog and small dog owners in Chicago will love the separate playing areas.
The park's hours are a bit more limited than some of the others, but it is still open from 6am-9pm. Similar to Grant Bark Park, Fred Anderson is almost a half-acre, which makes the dog park the largest section of the overall park. Inside you will find two enclosed dog-friendly areas, each one complete with artificial turf, fountains, tunnels, and picnic tables.
Indiana & 16th Dog Park
The Indiana and 16th Dog Park in the South Loop is older than some of the others on our list. However, in recent years it received a few nice updates. What was once weeds is now a well landscaped and inviting thanks to local volunteers and city employees.
The park is small by comparison to others, and may not have the room for a larger breed to run. But for those close by, it provides a welcome place to socialize for dog owners to bring their pup. It is fun for all dogs and has tunnels and other fun obstacles that both large and small breeds alike will enjoy. It has good fencing and has two sets of gates for added security when entering and leaving the park.
We hope this list of dog parks in the South Loop has been helpful and encourages you and your dog to get out there and explore a little. Before checking out a dog park in the South Loop, or anywhere else, a little bit of research goes a long way. By knowing the space, security, and amenities offered, you can select the best place for you.
Chicago’s South Loop residents understand that the area has a lot to offer for every type of individual. From museums to upscale amenities, to parks, there is no shortage of things to do to fill up your weekend.
At the end of the day, the right park for you and your dog is usually the one that is most convenient to where you are located. What is your favorite dog park in the South Loop? Let us know by leaving a comment below!