Wilmette's dog beach, located at the south end of Gillson Park, is a popular off-leash destination for many four-footed friends and their owners. Dogs must have a permit to use the Dog Beach. Please note: Dogs must be on leash at all times in Gillson Park while on their way to the dog beach. The dog beach has specific hours (see below) and will be closed on July 3 & 4 for Independence Day activities.
Dog Beach Hours
August 8, 2020 - June 13, 2021:
Daily, 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
May 29 - June 13, 2021: Daily, 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
June 14 - August 6, 2021:
Monday - Friday: 6-10 a.m. & 3:30-10:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
To use the dog beach owners must purchase a permit for their dog. The 2021 fees are $41 for residents ($7 for each additional dog), and $208 for non-residents ($69 for each additional dog). Dog Beach applications can be processed at the Admin Office, Community Recreation Center and Lakeview during regular business hours. Permits are good for one year.
The Cook County Animal and Rabies Control Ordinance requires written proof of current vaccinations and an examination within the past year for any communicable diseases. Proof of a current rabies certificate is also required for permit purchase. The following inoculations/vaccines are required:
- Negative fecal test
Dogs are also welcome to play off-leash in the large open area adjacent to West Park, located south of Lake and west of Laramie Avenues.
In ALL Wilmette parks, dogs must be on leash and owners are expected to clean up after their pet. Dogs are not permitted in tot lots, at the Wilmette Golf Club, in building interiors, at the outdoor pools, on the public swimming or sailing beaches, or in Gillson Park during special events such as Independence Day.
By Ordinance of the Wilmette Park District the following rules apply:
- Dogs are permitted in all Wilmette parks during regular park hours. Dogs must be on leash at all times. They must be under the control of a competent person and their leash may not exceed 10 feet. Owners are responsible for clean up.
- All dogs using designated off-leash play areas must have and wear a proper tag assigned to that dog.
- Dogs are NOT permitted in tot lots; at the Wilmette Golf Club; in building interiors; the outdoor pools; the public swimming or sailing beaches; or in Gillson Park during special events such as the Independence Day Celebration.
- The Cook County Animal and Rabies Control Ordinance requires written proof of current vaccinations including distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, bordetella and a negative fecal test, along with an examination within the past year for any communicable diseases. Proof of a current rabies certificate is also required for permit purchase.
- Owners who fail to clean up after their dog(s) are subject to fines and loss of access privileges.
- Dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior will lose access privileges to the play areas.
- Dog owners/handlers must be at least 14 years old or a freshman in high school.
- Daily access hours for dog play area adjacent to West Park are sunrise to sundown year-round.
- Failure of dog owners to follow any and all rules, including keeping the designated areas clean, may result in loss of privileges for all users.
- Swimming at the Dog Beach is for DOGS ONLY. Owners are not allowed to swim with their pets.
Fines for violating these rules:
- $75 Dog off-leash in non-designated areas or designated areas off hours.
- $50 Dog on leash in non-designated areas or designated areas off hours.
- $50 Failure of owner to clean up after dog.
- $50 Dog on leash exceeding 10 feet in length.
- Loss of Privilege: Aggressive or violent behavior by dog.
- (Ordinance 2004-0-3 adopted 6/14/04)