• The Doggy Dojo

5 Illinois State Parks to Explore with Your Dog

Source: Dan Dzurisin

Source: Dan Dzurisin

This is it! We’ve finally hit that sweet spot Chicagoans look forward to all year long. The beginning of October brings perfect weather that we (and our dogs) absolutely adore. Are you as excited for fall as we are?

While the city certainly knows how to put on a gorgeous display of autumn colors, nothing compares to getting lost in nature with your canine companion by your side. If you find yourself with a free day this October, pack up your pup and head out to one of Illinois’s scenic state parks to soak in the sights, sounds, and smells of the fall season.

  1. Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area 13608 Fox Road, Yorkville, IL Located in Kendall County, the Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area was established in the late 1960s and is named for the natural spring within its boundaries. Locals love it for its beautiful walking and hiking trails, picnic areas, and its proximity to the Fox River.

  2. Lowden State Park 1411 N. River Road, Oregon, IL Lowden State Park is home to the second largest concrete monolithic statue in the world, The Eternal Indian, which soars 125 feet above the scenic Rock River. The park also has four miles of moderately difficult hiking trails – perfect for enjoying the fall leaves with your canine companion.

  3. Castle Rock State Park 1365 W. Castle Rd. Oregon, IL If you’re looking for beautiful nature views, Castle Rock is a great place to go! The climb up the stairs is more than worth the view of the Rock River Valley – especially at sunset. You and your pup will enjoy exploring six miles of marked hiking trails where you can catch a glimpse of the woodland animals and birds inhabiting the park.

  4. Argyle Lake State Park 640 Argyle Park Road, Colchester, IL  Though it’s primarily known for fishing, the heavily wooded Argyle Lake State Park also boasts great opportunities for picnicking, camping, hiking, and boating. Hungry? The park is home to the Shanty Shack II – a quaint, full-service restaurant with indoor and outdoor deck seating on the edge of picturesque Lake Argyle.

  5. Starved Rock State Park 2668 E 875th Rd, Oglesby, IL If you haven’t made the trek to Starved Rock, autumn is a fantastic time to leash up your pup and explore the beautiful sights. The park features well-maintained walking and hiking paths with gorgeous river and waterfall views. You won’t believe you’re still in Illinois as you wind your way through the majestic wonderland of towering trees lush canyons!

Have you visited any of these Illinois state parks? Share photos with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!

#illinoisstateparks #dogfriendlyparks #tipsfordogowners #travelingwithpets #fallinchicago

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