Both areas are roughly the same shape, long and rectangular, providing a good amount of room for long ball throws.
The park is pretty new (opened August 2008) so the grass is still largely intact, although there was a small muddy section near the middle that was probably started by a dog trying to dig something up. Looks like the park designers took drainage into account, as the ground slopes down toward a line along the middle of the park and towards a stormwater drain.
A few trees provide some shade, and several benches are available for people to sit on in both dog areas. There are also a couple of poop bag and disposal stations in each dog area.
One significant failing of the dog park is that there is only one water fountain, and it’s located outside the large dog area. That means if you want to water your dog, you’ll have to leash it, exit the park, get water and then go back in when you’re finished. Or you can just wait until you’re finished with the dog park and let your dog drink on your way out. Why the water was placed outside the dog area, I have no idea. I suspect the small dog area was put in as a bit of an afterthought, which would explain why there’s no water fountain for the small dog area.
Not sure what the dog population is like in Summerville, but I’m sure once more people find out about this dog park, it’ll be come very popular.
Thanks to some misalignment in Google Maps, it took me a little bit of driving around Park West before I could find the dog park.
Located in the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Center in Park West, the dog park is a small fenced in area next to the tennis court. It’s dominated by the retention pond in the center of the park, so there’s not a lot of open field for dogs to run. However, if you’ve got a dog that loves water, that’s not really going to matter much.
There are plenty of tennis balls around for dogs to run around and fetch, although most of them are in the pond so they’ll need to be fished out.
One thing the dog park could use is a water hose to wash the pond water off the dogs when you’re finished. There’s also no water fountain for the dogs, so it’s probably a good idea to bring your own water and bowl.
The IOP Bark Park is a decently sized fenced in dog park located just behind the IOPRecreation Center, and so far is the only dog park that features a separate small dog area.
The Bark Park isn’t very large, about the same size as Ackerman dog park. It’s fairly wide open though and offers a lot of room for dogs to run around. Benches provide plenty of places for people to sit, and several trees provide shady spots during hot weather.
The small dog area is a long narrow strip adjacent to the main dog park. There were no small dogs around when I was there, so I’m not sure how often it gets used. Looks like it would be a good place for people with smaller dogs that don’t want to risk them getting bowled over by bigger dogs. Most of the small dogs I’ve seen though play just fine with big dogs.
There’s no water fountain installed in the dog park, but a large bucket in each area provides water. The water comes from a hose running from the Rec center to the dog park. Filling the bucket requires walking out of the dog park over to the building to turn the water on.
There are a few sandy areas where dogs can plop down to relax, cool down or work out some of their digging urges.
Located on the peninsula just a block or so down from Tradd and East Bay in Hazel Parker Playground (70 East Bay St), the dog park is a smallish rectangular fenced in gravel area with several benches strategically located underneath the trees provide a spot for people to sit and relax, and over in the corner is a water fountain.
Although the park is fairly long, it would still be pretty easy to throw a ball too far and out of the dog park, especially with the aid of a Chuck-it. The park would be very well suited for smaller dogs and dogs that aren’t that much into running around. People with more active dogs would probably find more satisfaction (as would their dogs) heading to one of the larger dog parks like the one at Hampton Park or James Island County 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.