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. The dog park is the only area where dogs are allowed off leash though, 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 barrelling 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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