This Labor Day is probably one of our first long weekend since we moved to Chicago area almost 6 months ago and we decided we were going to visit a good dog park. We have not been able to find a good dog park in this area. Most of them are small, don't have separation between small and large dogs (which cause troubles for some of the shy, small dogs or the big, more aggressive dogs) and cost a fortune despite the poor amenities they offer.
I browsed around online and found out that Lake County Forest Preserves have several off-leash dog park spread across the county. We decided to take Oliver to visit one of them located nearby Lindenhurst/Lake Villa called Duck Farm Dog Park. It costs us $10 for one day permit since we are non-residents, which is not bad.
It took about 30 minutes to get there but it's all worth it. This dog park is huge, fenced, has a lot of trails where you can walk with your dogs off-leash and has several open fields with picnic table (although you cannot really do a picnic here) where you can sit and play with your dogs. The park is about 48 acre, so there is plenty of space for all dogs so they don't bump into each other too often and the park size really reduces the potential trouble with dogs getting into a fight or anything like that, even without dedicated space for large and small dogs.
Oliver enjoyed the visit. He met many other dogs, big and small, many different breeds. He played fetch with several balls (we forgot to bring his favorite ball :( ) and we walked around the place for almost 1 hour. It was a very nice day with temperature in the low 70s, so that really helps!
I highly recommend this place for anyone with dogs who wants to have a lot of fun!!