If you're a regular listener to the WROK Morning Show with Joe Dredge and me, then you know that both Joe and I are big-time dog lovers. Joe has his two huskies, Sasha and Echo, while I have my Weimaraner, Lucy, who has the energy of 37 dogs. We both consider ourselves lucky to live here in Rockford, where you've got 3 great dog-parks that are ready and willing to help your dog burn off some energy.

For the uninitiated, the Rockford Park District's Canine Corners are wonderful spots to let your dog off the leash for some running, playing, and socializing with other like-minded dogs.

Their locations are:

  • Elliot Park- 888 South Lyford Road, Rockford. Located just off of Lyford Rd (accessible from the Maintenance Shop entrance). It has two fenced 2-acre areas with parking nearby. Shelter is provided in the south area; water is available in the north area.
  • Olson Park- 7901 Harlem Road, Loves Park. Located just off the southeast corner of Rock Cut State Park on Harlem Rd. It is a 6.5-acre, wooded/open field area. Park includes a shelter and dog rinsing station.
  • Searls Park- 4950 Safford Road, Rockford. The Searls location is one of the largest fenced in public dog parks in Illinois. This 24-acre site, located opposite the baseball diamonds, features three fenced areas, two of which are wooded with trails. Parking is located in front of the park, and water is available at the shelter.

So, if you've got a furry bundle of hyper-energy on your hands (like I do), or you just want to let your dog hang out and explore without being attached to a leash, the Rockford Park District has got you covered.

And, if you've never seen a dog's reaction to arriving at a dog-park...it's something like this:

Sure, it's cute when they weigh about 7 pounds. Not so cute (or comfortable) when they're over 50 pounds. Believe me.