Dogwood Run

Dogwood Run is a leash-free area just for pooches at Lemon Lake east of shelters 6 and 7. Turn right at the first road after the gatehouse. The 14-acre facility is divided into two sections, allowing for alternate usage permitting re-growth in one while the other is in use. Registration and an annual "Pooch Pass" permit are required for each dog using the facility. The annual Pooch Pass is a dog tag that must be worn on the dog's collar. A one-time "try out fee" is issued at the gatehouse and must be shown to park personnel upon request. Bring proof of vaccinations with you. Pooch Passes may be purchased at the Lake County Parks corporate office.

Call 219-769-7275 to purchase annual passes or stop by the Lake County Parks corporate office at 8411 East Lincoln Highway just west of Deep River Waterpark on U.S. 30. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Annual Pooch Pass

View the Annual Pooch Pass form (PDF). Print the form, fill it out completely, and bring proof of vaccinations and rabies shot with you to the office. Check out the fees.

*Requirements for obtaining Parking Pass: When purchasing a parking pass you must bring your vehicle registration. You may register up to two vehicles under one pass fee as long as both are registered to the same household and you present a vehicle registration for each.

Couple at Dogwood Run
Dofwood Run Field

Rules for Usage of Lemon Lake Dogwood Run

  • Dogs must be leashed until safely and securely inside Dogwood Run.
  • Dogs must wear POOCH PASS while inside Dogwood Run.
  • Dogs must bear ID - collar tag or microchip.
  • Dogs must have current Rabies shots and other vaccinations as required by law, including Parvo and Distemper, (tiders are not sufficient proof of vaccination at this time).
  • Dogs must be supervised and under voice control at all times and are the responsibility and liability exclusively of the owner. If you cannot control your dog(s) off-leash, then they must remain leashed.
  • Dogs may not be left unattended or out of sight range.
  • Owners must carry one leash per dog at all times while in Dogwood Run.
  • Dogs must be on leash before leaving Dogwood Run.
  • Dogs must be leashed in all other areas of the park site.
  • No more than three dogs per person are permitted in Dogwood Run at any time. Each must have a tag.
  • Do not allow your pet to harass humans, other pets, or wildlife.
  • Children age 12 and younger are not allowed in Dogwood Run.
  • No glass containers are permitted in Dogwood Run.
  • Dogs, owners and users creating a disturbance or violating posted rules must leave Dogwood Run if requested by law enforcement, park personnel, or their designated agents. The park department reserves the right to suspend or revoke a Dogwood Run pass if a dog exhibits hostile behavior toward other dogs or people.
  • No eating or smoking while inside Dogwood Run. Food wrappers and cigarette butts are tempting and unhealthy for dogs.
Dogwood Run Sign

Dogs Not Permitted in Dogwood Run

  • Dogs known to exhibit vicious, fierce, aggressive, or dangerous behavior.
  • Dogs less than 4 months old.
  • Dogs in heat.
  • Lake County Ordinance Number 1244F states that Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes are prohibited from participating in unleashed dog parks. We are required to uphold this county ordinance.


  • Observe all park rules at all times.
  • Always clean up after your dog. Dog waste must be picked up and properly disposed of.
  • Trash receptacles and disposal bags are available near Dogwood Run for this purpose.
  • Extend courtesy to other users. If your dog(s) become unruly or aggressive to other dogs or people, leash your dog(s) and exit Dogwood Run.
  • Please limit your use of Dogwood Run to one hour during peak times.
  • While there are water fountains, you may wish to bring water for your dog(s).

Possible Hazards

  • Plants and fungi in Dogwood Run may be poisonous to dogs.
  • Vegetation may have burrs or seeds that could get tangled in your dog's coat, feet or eyes.
  • Wild animals could injure your dog. Rabies infection is a risk.
  • "Batchers", or dog thieves, may nab unleashed pets when out of the owner's sight.
  • Dogs easily become lost in large areas, especially in winter when their sense of smell is less keen.

Other Information

  • Owners need to be aware of natural hazards such as burrs, ticks, fleas, poisonous plants, common wildlife, and contact with other dogs.
  • There is a water fountain near the leash-free area, but we suggest you bring your pet ample water in case the fountain is not working properly.
  • Do not eat or smoke while in the area. Cigarette butts and food wrappers are tempting and unhealthy for dogs.
  • Fees help with the costs of development and maintenance of the leash-free area.
Dogs at the Dogwood Run