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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Lowcountry dog park tour: Ackerman dog run

Located in West Ashley on Sycamore Ave just off St. Andrews Blvd (Highway 61), Ackerman dog run is a smallish dog park, but with lots of trees that provide ample amounts of shade for those hot sunny days.

There are three dog-lock entrances to the park located at the corners, with a poop bag station at each entrance. A water fountain is located in the middle of the park.

The dog park isn’t very large, perhaps 250 m2 or so. There’s plenty of room for dogs to run around, but if you have the kind of dog that likes to tear around wide open spaces or go after those long throws, Ackerman may not be the dog park for you.

With an abundance of benches and shade, Ackerman dog run certainly makes for a nice spot to go hang out while the dogs run around and play.

Here is a Google map to the dog park

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Lowcountry dog park tour: Hampton Park dog run

A while ago, the idea popped into my head that I should do a tour of the area dog parks and blog about them. I’m going to start the series off with the one I go to most often, the Hampton Park dog run.

Hampton Park dog run

Located at the corner of Rutledge and Grove on the Charleton Peninsula (above the Crosstown), this dog park is a large fenced in area providing a large tree for shade, several benches lining the perimeter and a water fountain so the dogs can get water. Bushes line two sides of the dog park, and there are two gates (dog-lock style) opening into the parking lot and onto Grove St on the other side.

Hampton Park dog run

Hampton Park dog run

You’ll find lots of local residents from the surrounding neighbourhood at the dog park during various times of day. The busy times tend to be early morning and late afternoon between 5-8PM (depending on the season). It’s a nice place for both dogs and people to socialize. An ample supply of tennis balls is ever present and new ones seem to appear out of nowhere periodically. If you bring your own balls or dog toys, prepare for them to be come community property for the duration of your stay.

The dogs that frequent the dog park are all friendly, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your dog because you never know when a scuffle might break out.

There are a couple of poop bag stations that are usually filled most of the time as well as a poop scooper for cleaning up after your dog, but it never hurts to bring your own supply of bags for the rare occasion the bag stations are empty.

Here’s a Google Map of the area around the dog park. The dog park is in the middle.

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