Recently a reader posed the question, “Can you tell me if the county has any rules about times that dogs can be on the beaches of Lake Michigan?”
Since I was a child growing up on the northside of Racine, I obviously spent many hours on our Lake Michigan beaches. And throughout all of those years I have seen people with their loyal companions – be it a retriever, a lab, or a poodle – enjoying the beaches and all they have to offer. From catching Frisbees in the water to strolls down the sandy shore, dogs were often seen on Zoo Beach and even North Beach through out the summer months.
It was a little ruff (sorry, I couldn’t resist) finding the answer to this question. But I think I have gotten down to the basics. The county of Racine is not in charge of Lake Michigan beaches. That responsibility lies with the City.
I contacted the Racine City Parks Department and I was told that dogs are not allowed at anytime on the actual beaches. They are allowed on the paths. But, I am sorry to report, no more water Frisbee for Fido, that is, unless you don’t mind a $109 fine. According to Michael Polzin at the Racine Police Department, dogs are allowed at certain areas and parks in Racine as stated in the city statutes:
A person may, subject to compliance with Municipal Code section 10-71(a) and (b) "Waste product accumulations", have a dog or dogs on leash:
In the area 20 feet easterly of the public right-of-way along Michigan Boulevard from Barker Street to Goold Street and from Romayne Avenue to Melvin Avenue, along Main Street from 14th Street to 17th Street and along Wisconsin Avenue from the North line of 21st Street extended North to a point where the sidewalk ends.
As well as in the following parks: Azarian, Back, Carre-Hogle, Colbert, Crosswalk, Dodge, Erskine, Gaslight Pointe, Harris Plaza, Jonas, Dr. King Plaza, Lee, Maple Grove, Monument Square, Myers, Oak, Pierce Dr., Randolph, Reservoir, Riverside, Simonson, Springvale-West, State-Hamilton, Thompson and Wallis.
And in case some of you have never seen the Johnson’s Dog Park on Hwy 38, which is a wonderful facility that adorns wide prairie paths in a beautiful setting where dogs can roam and even meet a friend or two.
Additionally, I spoke with a pleasant and helpful woman with the Racine County Parks Department who did give me some information on their dog rules for the county parks which do include the Quarry and Fischer Park (Browns Lake). At all county parks, dogs are not allowed at anytime. However, if a person is boating on Brown’s Lake, they are allowed to have their pet in the boat. Dogs are also allowed on the trails as long as the owner is toting a 6 foot attached leash and a means to clean up any messes the dog may leave behind.