Lowcountry dog park tour: Bark Park at Riverfront Park

To be honest, I was a little bit disappointed with the dog park at Riverfront Park in North Charleston, especially considering how nice and spacious the rest of the park is. The Bark Park almost seemed like an afterthought in comparison. It’s like someone took an area of the park that wasn’t much good for anything else and said “Let’s make a dog park out of it”. However, I suppose it’s better than nothing.

The Bark Park is quite a small fenced in area. There’s a dog-lock style gate, but whoever put together the gates and latches didn’t do it very well and I don’t think they measured things out all that accurately either for the outer gate. As a result it would be pretty easy for dogs to push their way past both gates and get loose if the inner gate isn’t closed properly.

Unlike all the other dog parks we’ve visited so far, there is no water fountain installed in the park. Instead, there are a couple of watering stations provided that are starting to look a little green with algae growth. They also collect whatever happens to fall from the trees. IMO the lack of water fountain is quite a significant oversight. Hopefully they’re just temporary and a permanent water fountain is in the works. In the meantime, I’d recommend bringing your own water and bowl for your dogs.

There are benches along the side for people to sit on, and trees provide plenty of shade. They also drop lots of pecans for dogs to crunch on (probably not a good thing for dogs to do).

One very nice feature the dog park has are the agility type jumps and tunnel. Since there’s not a whole lot of room for dogs to run, these provide a fun way for dog owners to engage and interact with their dogs.

Panorama view of the park from the entrance gate

Panorama view of the park from the other end

See the rest of my pictures from the day here.

Here’s a Google Map for Riverfront Park. Riverfront Park is located in North Charleston on the site of the former Naval Yard.

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Lowcountry dog park tour: Wannamaker County Park

The dog park at Wannamaker County Park is the third on the list of dog parks located in a Charleston County park.

The dog park has been open for close to two years now, and provides a fairly large wide open space for dogs to run and stretch their legs.

The pond/mud pit that used to be open is now fenced off with a gate so you can let your dog in to romp around the mud/water if you wish. A sign asks people to keep the gate closed so people who don’t want to go home with a wet muddy dog can keep their dog out of the water.

If you do let your dog play in the mud/water, there’s a hose available to spray him off with.

Picnic tables provide plenty of places for people to sit down and watch their dogs, or you can hang out on the concrete walkway along the fence on one side of the dog park. The trees provide a bit of shade there for sunny days.

Admission to Wannamaker County Park is $1/person and once you’re in you can make use of the dog park, go wandering around the trails afterwards or bring the whole family and have a picnic. Frequent visitors to the park(or any of the other county parks) will want to consider purchasing a park pass for unlimited admissions. To get to the dog park, just follow the road once you’re past the entrance gate (the road goes around the water park). You’ll see signs pointing to the dog park.

You can see the rest of the pictures here.

Here’s a Google Map to the dog park

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Lowcountry dog park tour: Palmetto Islands County Park

The next stop on the dog park tour takes us to the second of three dog parks located in a Charleston County Park: Palmetto Islands County Park in Mt. Pleasant. The dog park here is relatively new, having opened in 2007. It’s a fairly large fenced in dog park located next to the fenced in area used by the Lowcountry Dog Agility group (this area is not part of the dog park). Dual dog lock type gates provide good flow for dogs entering and leaving the park. The park is somewhat narrow but very long giving you plenty of room for long ball throws and lots of room for dogs to run around in.

For people, a couple of bleachers provide plenty of seating space as do several picnic benches around the perimeter.

Two sandy areas serve as nice soft spots for dogs to wrestle, dig or plop down to rest.

The park is pretty near to the marshes, so as a result the water table is pretty close to the surface. This means when the ground gets wet, it tends to stay that way for a while and things can get a little muddy in spots, especially near the fence. Fortunately there’s a hose positioned near the water fountain so you can hose off muddy dogs if necessary.

Admission to Palmetto Islands County Park is $1/person. Frequent visitors to the park (or any of the other county parks) will want to consider purchasing a park pass for unlimited admissions. Since the dog park is within the park, once you’re in you also have access to the rest of Palmetto Islands County Park, which is quite large and has plenty of walking trails.

See the rest of my pictures of the dog park here.

Here’s a Google Map to Palmetto Islands County Park. The dog park is just inside the entrance to the park. Take the first right after you get past the admission booth and you’ll see the dog park in front of you.

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Lowcountry dog park tour: James Island County Park

The dog park at James Island County Park is what I would consider the crown jewel of CCPRC‘s three dog parks.

The JICP dog park is the largest of all the dog parks located in the Charleston area, providing ample space for dogs to run around in and perhaps best of all, a lake for dogs to go swimming in.

Two beach areas provide plenty of room for dogs to run around and jump into the water. On hot days, the lake is where you’ll find most of the dogs.

Two dog lock style gates for entering and exiting the park provide for smooth flow. A water fountain to the left of the gates as you enter provides water (although most dogs will just end up drinking from the lake anyway) and there’s also a hose so you can hose down a muddy dog. A couple of picnic tables and the retaining wall provide a spot for people to sit down, and for some of the dogs, a bit of shade. While the dog park isn’t fenced in, trees and bushes lining the perimeter of the park and the lake serve as natural barriers, although some especially motivated dogs have been known to escape the park by swimming across the lake.

Admission to JICP is $1/person, but once you’re in you can avail yourself of the dog park and all the other facilities contained within the park. Frequent visitors to JICP (or any of the other county parks) will want to consider purchasing a park pass for unlimited admissions. The dog park is the only area where dogs are allowed off leash, so if you decide to go for a walk around the rest of the park, you’ll have to put Fido back on the leash.

One of the main disadvantages of the dog park is the lack of any kind of shelter or shade. If you’re there on a hot sunny day, you’d better have plenty of sun screen on. A walk through the water helps cool off the feet, but you’ll have to be on the look out for dogs barreling by, and prepare to get wet from dogs shaking off. However, if things get too hot, you can always head out and go for a walk along the many miles of shaded trails within the park and then head back for more dog park fun.

A piece of advice before going to this dog park: make sure you have a reasonably reliable recall on your dog before going. The park is a really fun place for dogs to go, and sometimes they can be reluctant to leave. If you don’t have a good recall on your dog, then you’re liable to end up chasing your dog around trying to catch him long after you originally planned to leave.

Here is a Google map to the dog park

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Lowcountry dog park tour: Mixson dog park

The next stop on the tour takes me and the dogs up to North Charleston to the Mixson neighbourhood (near the Park Circle area), an area still under development but with a dog park already.

The dog park though, is a tiny little fenced in area that would probably fit in most back yards, so I don’t know that I’d really call it a dog park. However, as the fine print on the sign says, it’s only a temporary dog park. Hopefully as development of the area continues it will be replaced with a much larger more permanent dog park (one where you don’t have to worry about tossing a ball outside the fence.

This one I’ll have to come back to in a year or so to see if anything has changed.

Here is a Google map to the dog park

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