Beck Lake Dog Park - Cook County Forest Preserve

Winter at Beck Lake Dog Park
Summer Dog Park
Central Rd and East River Rd
Des Plaines, IL
Operating Hours:
Sunrise - Sunset
$55 annually (residents) or $110 (non-residents) - no day passes
Park Size:
Type of Park:
Other Notes:

This is the only dog park in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and it has a pond.  Apply for a Forest Preserve Dog Park pass at their website.

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Rottie35's picture
Park looks cool, BUT...

I took my 7 month old rottweiler the Beck Lake because I saw it off the high way driving home from work. When you pull in you will have no clue where the dog park it until you see someone with a dog walking to the park and that is just what I did. So I grab my little guy all excited and ask a man(mid 50's) and his wife (that were walking to the park) is this the way to the dog park? The guy didn't say anything but his wife sure smugly spoke up for him. She tells me that I need a permit, the office is closed and I can't use the park if I don't have a permit. So my little man is ready to play and I just thought that they were pulling my leg on the permit thing and wanted to see for myself. I was walking a few paces back from them the whole time the woman keep looking back at me like I was going to commit the crime of the century. They get to the gate, open it and as I'm walking they hustle in, lock it and with that smug look on her face says "you need a permit to come in here". She locked the gate... oh nooo!

I picked my dog up put him on the other side of the fence then stepped right over that crappy little thing. All the 5 people in the park didn't see that one coming. She comes steaming over "WHAT DO YOU THING YOUR ARE DOING" I tell her gonna play with my dog and I start walking away from her. She starts following me tell me I have to leave right now, I need a permit this that and the other. I tell her I not getting a $50 permit for one time and she continues to follow me and repeat herself until two men stop me and tell me to leave. I inform them that this is Cook County Forest Preserve Property and I pay taxes Cook County so I'm going to use what I pay for and walked away trying to play with my dog. They followed me around the park telling me they are going to call the police, I need a permit... until I did't want to deal with them any more so I grabbed my dog and left.

Andysmyboy's picture
Great dog park

I've never had any negative experience at the dog park. Just like anywhere, the mall, grocery, etc., some people are more friendly than others. But this is for the dogs, not a human social club. The park is self monitored as it is illegal to enter without a permit. This ensures that my dog is around only dogs that have had vaccines. I've seen non-permit people try to sneak in with someone who does have a permit and they aren't excepted very well for this reason. I want to know if my dog is in danger of being around other unvetted dogs. The price is cheap for the benefit. It costs $28 a day for my dog to go to a daycare to play. So the $55 annual cost is a bargain. I highly recommend this dog park.

buddhasmom4397's picture
How Much Does Beck Lake Dog Park Stink?

How much does Beck Lake Dog Park Stink?
I’ve lived in the Glenview area for over 7 years and have known about Beck Lake Dog park for almost that long. I’ve never signed up for access because of several issues, 1) the cost. It’s really rather exorbitant for access to a dog park. 2) The stories coming out of there from others really put me off. 3) the people there are extremely rude and unfriendly. This is usually a bad sign at a dog park.

Wfs226's picture
My Dogs and I Love This Place

I have been a regular patron to the Beck Lake Dog Friendly Area for 3 years! My two dogs and I love this place!! I go 4-5 times each week! I walk my 2.5 miles around the perimeter fence line of the 40 acres for my exercise walk and my two dogs must run 20 miles during the same time period!
I love the seasons in the dog park! It is a forest preserve so I knew I was entering forest conditions,.....that was the draw!! My dogs love all the other dogs! I find 90% of the people there awesome, friendly and cooperatively accommodating!
I am an upbeat friendly guy so my experiences are usually upbeat and friendly with others! On occasion another visitor is less talkative and passes with a return greeting but that is expected!! People are all different! Thank God! I love the wilderness setting,....the snow, the mud and the beautiful dry sunny days too!!
The lake provides a place for the dogs to swim play and cool off on the hot days! The dog park is fenced and gated with a lock! I like that! If you have a key your dog has a clean health report and vaccinations from a vet!! I like knowing your dog is healthy too!
I often enjoy my morning coffee walking around the park! Others do as well! Very peaceful there! I use it as a serene place to think!
Check it out! You will get out of it what you put into it!

PS.DOGGOES's picture
Eff: 9/2012, day visitors aren't welcomed by Dog "Friendly" Area

The "Dog Friendly" Area has become inaccessible to day visitors (no day passes).

The CCFP website states:
- Hours: 6:30 am until 7pm or sunset, whichever is later.
- Use restricted to permit holders only
- only three dogs per person are allowed.
- Annual permits are valid for the calendar year only.
- Cook County residence $50 for each dog *Non-Residents $100 for each dog.
- All dogs must have rabies tags attached to their collars.
- All dog guardians must wear their permits around their neck while in the area. Permits must be visible to everyone.
- People who do not follow the rules will be fined and/or have their permits revoked. Violations of the rules can cause fine up to $1000.00 and/or 6 month imprisonment.
- All permit holders are responsible for the off leash dog areas and must partially self-police this area.
- Local dog group monitors are permitted to check permits."
- Current permit holders have until October 11, 2012 to renew their permits for the 2012-2013 season.

Location: The Beck Lake Dog Friendly Area (D.F.A.), is located within the Beck Lake Forest Preserves of Cook County at East Central Road and East River Road in Glenview, Illinois (about 1 mile west of Milwaukee Ave.)

muddypaws's picture
Great Place for Dog and You

Yes, the park can be muddy when it rains, but its a FOREST preserve not a concrete parking lot. Its 40 acres of running and walking exercise for you and your dog. As for the people its like everywhere you meet a group of people you will get along with some and some not. As for the dogs getting along, they are like people too, some do and some do not.

I am going on my 9th year as a member and could not duplicate the experiences we have had, mainly good and won't lie some interesting.

And yes, I have visited Lake County dog parks, Evanston and Montrose and have come across nice and not so nice people/dogs at these places too.

If you can't take the bark please don't come to the park.

DogHelper's picture
Run by a mob

I have belonged to this dog park for 3 years because it is a very large park and my dog can generally find others to play with. I completely agree about the friendliness (that is, the NON EXISTENT friendliness) of a segment of other dog owners however. I can absolutely see how each of the unpleasant described here happened. The problem is that there is a group of regulars that has self-appointed itself as the keepers and monitors of the park and if you cross them, watch out! It is a typical situation where they feel they have a little power (they have vests that say "monitor" after all) and they try to keep the numbers of people entitled to use the park down. Really icky people.

karolinafrankie's picture
Update they did put wood

Update they did put wood chips around the lake so it's ain't as muddy as it was .I've been going there with my dog for over a year and haven't meet a single not friendly person everyone r nice and sweet

karolinafrankie's picture

Me and my dog Have been going to the beck lake dog park 4over a year now it's fantastic My dog love it the minute I tell him were going to park he's waiting by the car U do need the permit for that park but at least when u go there u feel safe and secure about rue dog cose u know that all dogs there are up 2 date with the shoots It's a 50$ for year but it's worth every penny . People r really friendly I think this dog park is awesome and no one think rue crazy if u talk about rue dog all the time if u r a dog owner u know what I mean. BECK LAKE DOG PARK ROCKS I'm goon be going there FUR-EVER

LBD's picture
Terrible conditions; baffling behavior from patrons

I and my dog have been coming to Beck Lake for the better part of a year, so believe me when I say that Beck Lake is the most sloppy, least friendly dog park I've ever had the misfortune of visiting. The *only* reason we go is because of its proximity to our house.

To chance upon someone friendly is a rare occurrence. Most people I've met there are very cold and seem offended when my dog comes up to socialize. There are roving cliques of middle-aged housewives that barely look at you when you say hello. I find this behavior perplexing; do they not know where they are? I'm originally from Lake County, and have been to the Independence Grove/Lake Forest dog parks many times and I've never experienced such haughtiness. On the contrary, the parks up north have much younger and friendlier visitors.

The condition of Beck Lake is pretty dismal too. Unless you're lucky enough to visit when it's very cold or very dry, expect that both you and your dog will get very muddy. I guess they never heard of wood chips. And don't expect to hold any conversations while you're walking; the roar of the traffic will snuff it out if you're anywhere near the fence. The only thing this place has going for it is its size, but considering how poor the upkeep is, it's hardly worth it.

If Beck Lake was free, it'd still be terrible. Save yourself from having to deal with this nonsense and drive up to Lake County. The people up there are friendly and the land is well-managed. I believe it's $5 for residents and $10 for non for a day pass. It also sounds as though Des Plaines will be opening its own park in the future. Let's hope it turns out well and that the Beck Lake biddies never go there.

cmunson's picture
I went to this place 2 years

I went to this place 2 years ago. I parked my truck and was walking around to the other side of my truck to leash my dog. I asked a lady if she knew where the dog park was located. She indicated that it was a private dog park. I looked at her and stated, "a private dog park" in a County Forest Preserve? She then said, "Well, it is buy permit only, so you can't use it." I leashed my dog by that time and started to walk down the path toward it. I was simply going to make sure that what she was saying was true. Also figured I would get a phone # and/or more info. "She said, if you go in there, I'm going to call the Forest Preserve Police". I ignored her. She shouted, " Do you even live in Cook County?". I live on the NW side of Chicago, but I ignored her further since it was none of her business. Unbelievable. I went up to the gate to get the information that I was looking for and left. I never followed up because I don't want to be surrounded by people like that. I also take the drive to the Lake County Dog Parks and pay the daily non-resident fee. To my surprise, the people up there are a lot more respectful and friendly. It's too bad they think it is "their" exclusive park in Des Plaines and don't want anyone to join their little club. The Lake County dog parks are bigger anyway.

Jakub Cebula's picture
Beck Lake Dog Park

Over all Dog park is good, I do agre that the fence is low in some places but if u dont keep an eye on your dog than its your fault, Best time to come is on weekday because not so many people, on the weekend every body comes out of the wood works and I had some crazy experiences, also the worst thing about the park is when people bring there kids and they don't control them. its a dog park not a child park.

nilesil's picture
Totally agree - Beck Lake Dog Park not friendly

I agree. I live near hear and have joined the park twice over the last several years because it is so close to my house. However, people give a lot of attitude and just are not friendly. Very rigid about rules for joining and behavior. Maybe this is due to Cook Co. animal control rules, I admit, but Prairie Wolf Slough in Lake Co. dog exercise area off Waukegan and Half-day road is huge, with fewer rigid rules, and is MUCH friendlier and this seems weird because of course Lake Co. has much more money than Cook Co so you would think that the least monied group would be the most accessible.

Almost every time I've gone to BLDP I've had a rejecting or frustrating experience. People glare (or worse) if your dog does not behave EXACTLY as they want. People do seem to act like the location and joining rules of the dog park are closely guarded secrets that you shouldn't ask about. Overall, I have just felt very uncomfortable and unwelcome there. And I have friendly, non-threatening dogs who are reasonably well-behaved (i.e., don't bite, don't push you over, don't jump on top of other dogs).

It's a big park and the swimming hole is great. I think it's pretty well maintained. So for those reasons I give it two stars. But overall I've decided just to drive to Lake Co and pay a visitor's fee or joint as a non-resident.

buddhasmom's picture
I have to agree Unfortunately

I've heard many negative things about Beck Lake but I prefer to make up my own mind. I tried to find the park and found some folks walking with dogs, so I asked where the park was. They didn't tell me where it was, but they did tell me that I couldn't go and that I had to have a key and one lady told me "This is a PAY park". I swear I just wanted to know where the place was and what it looked like. I just looked at their website and I see where the attitude comes from. I don't know guys. I think it's probably a good thing in the long run. Dogs pick up on the attitude and I'd rather it be a positive experience. It's so sad because the place is literally down the street from my house but instead I pay two tolls and go to the Deerfield park. Really unfortunate.

puddy's picture
Beck Lake not good

Yes it is a bigger dog park, I paid the $50 per dog fee for my larger dogs, it was a WASTE of money!

Tried going there twice, each time was a bad experience. People were rude, a lady just let her dog CONSTANTLY bark at us as we entered the park and once we got in her other dog ran up and aggressively came at my dog. We just walked away as SHE gave US a dirty look. I didn't even get in the place!!! Next time we went after a rain, knowing it would be muddy and hopefully no one else would be there. There weren't many others there, and I finally got to let my dogs run free.

Then I was scared to death once we realized how LOW the FENCE was (and in poor condition). The fence in only about 3 1/2-4 ft tall. My dogs could easily clear that from a standing position--NOT A GOOD FENCE! And right next to the highway. It is also very weak. It is such a shame that Cook County can't can't do something right for the people. I know SO many people that want dog parks on the NW side of Chicago, yet there are none. The one attempt at giving us one is just "Here's a big field with a bad fence-can't say we didn't give you one." Yet there are tall iron fences around every city park ($), jobs created for friends and family ($) and many more examples of wasted money. If they did it right they could make some money and keep the people happy. Oh well, that's life in Chicago.

Visitor's picture
Heard about it

I've heard good things about Beck Lake, but I can't go. I'm in Bartlett, on the far end of Cook County. We're right next to DuPage County which has 2 dog parks within 15 minutes of us, but there's a $150/year non-resident fee. I'd gladly pay $50/year to the county I live in, but for some reason there's not a dog park in Cook County anywhere near us. They just have them for the residents in (or close to) the city of Chicago. I'd spend $150/year in gasoline just to get there from here. It seems a treadmill is a better investment at this point. I don't think Cook County cares about anyone not in/around Chicago.

Visitor's picture
I've gone to Beck Lake Dog

I've gone to Beck Lake Dog Park for 3years i think it is great for dogs and people. Retrievers get to swim other dogs have a full mile where they can run and play with other dogs. Owners can walk with other owners while their dog gets great exercise.

Visitor's picture
Beck Lake Dog Park-Not Friendly

Not a friendly dog park.