In warmer weather, many dog owners in Chicago visit Montrose Beach Dog Park to take their dog into Lake Michigan. Located at the far Northwest end of Montrose Beach in the Uptown neighborhood, the dog park is popular for its easy access and parking.
However, the popularity of the park is also its biggest drawback. By the late summer and fall, after thousands of dogs have visited the beach, the water, sand, and nearby grasslands can become covered in feces. On holiday weekends and days of nice weather, the number of dogs in the water and on the beach can be quite large.
Thankfully, there are other options nearby – if you know where.
Residents who live in Wrigleyville, Lakeview and other local neighborhoods who want to let their dog go for a swim, but don’t want to deal with the crowds and often unsanitary conditions at Montrose Beach take their dogs to one of the most hidden dogs parks in Chicago.
Located alongside Lake Shore Drive just a few blocks from Wrigley Field is Belmont Harbor. With 818 boat slips, docks, and mooring cans, Belmont Harbor is one of the most beautiful spots in Chicago, offering postcard views of the city’s skyline along with acres of grassland.
The key feature of Belmont Harbor Dog Park is the water. The man-made, sandy beach area is located about 200 yards from the most-northern end of Belmont Harbor on the west side. In addition to the open spaces for casual hikes there are few specific features that are interesting to check out while you’re there.
- Sydney R. Marovitz Public Golf Course:
This nine-hole golf course offers some fantastic views while swinging the sticks. There’s a small restaurant at the golf course where you can get refreshments, but they do not allow dogs inside so plan ahead. The official address for the course is 3600 N Recreation Dr, Chicago, IL 60613.
- Bill Jarvis Bird Sanctuary:
The 7.84-acre nature area has viewing platforms and educational materials about some of the birds that migrate through the area each year. Be warned, however: bird-watchers do NOT like having dogs near the sanctuary. There have been numerous conflicts between ornithologists and local dog owners, especially when dogs are off the leash and run to greet the bird lovers. Even though your dog may be friendly and have the time of her life there, bird watchers are urged to be avoided. It is also recommended that keeping you dog on a leash will help as police have been known to monitor the park for dog-off-leash violations.
- Archery range:
Adjacent to the Bill Jarvis Bird Sanctuary is a very unusual sporting area. The bow-and-arrow archery range is home to both the North Side Archery Club and the Lincoln Park Archery Club.
- Kwanusila totem pole:
Between the western flank of the Bill Jarvis Bird Sanctuary and the bike path is a 40-foot (12.2 meters) totem pole named Kwanusila that has a connection to one of the four stars on the Chicago flag. One of stars on the city’s flag is for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Depicting a man riding a whale and other sea creatures capped with a Thunderbird, the pole was moved to its current location in 1929. After decades of abuse from weather and vandals, the pole was replaced in 1986 with the current replica.
By foot: Walk east on Addison Street until it ends at Inner Lake Shore Drive. Use the pedestrian crosswalk located on the north side of the intersection of Addison and Inner Lake Shore Drive to access a tunnel that leads under Lake Shore Drive. Once on the east side of LSD, follow the bike path south toward Belmont Harbor. The end of the harbor is about 200 yards south of the tunnel (parallel with Brompton Avenue). Stay on the bike path as you approach the harbor and continue for approximately 200 yards more and you will find the entrance to the dog beach (parallel with Hawthorne Place).
OTHER CHICAGOLAND DOG PARKS:
- Belmont Harbor
- Daniel Webster
- Fermi Labs
- Fred Anderson
- Grant Park Bark Park
- No. 540
- Prairie District
- White Sox Dog Days
- Lake County Forest Preserve Dog Parks
- Duck Farm Dog Park
- Independence Grove Dog Park
- Lakewood Dog Park
- Prairie Wolf Dog Park
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