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Up to My Ass in Alligators

The sign that greeted us at the off-leash dog park in the James Island County Park, (located east of Charleston’s city limits) was a little off-putting. And as you’ll see from the pictures below, it IS possible that you could run into a gator here. So much for the downside. The upside is that this is a beautiful dog park, with acres to run, play, and swim.

Say what??

The surface is a combination of grass and sand. The park features entry and exit gates, picnic tables, a separate, fenced-in area for small dogs (sign said less than 25 lbs), bag stations and trash cans, drinking water for dogs and owners, water hoses for cleaning and cooling off, and lake access for dogs. The lake was huge, with three different points for dogs to get into the water. There was also a dog friendly hiking trail that circumnavigated the lake. Another nice feature: park staff periodically patrol the area. One con (other than the alligators): we noticed a lack of shade areas and, as you can imagine, it gets pretty hot and humid here in the summer months.

Ty and Buster spent about 1 1/2 hours at the park and made lots of friends, despite the issues we talked about in our previous post, and collapsed exhausted in the RV during our drive to Savannah, GA.

James Island County Park
871 Riverland Drive

Charleston, SC
843-795-7275

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  • […] Bottom line: Just about any pool of water in the Lowcountry might be a temporary home for an alligator. Always be cautious. And read the signs. […]

  • Remember this Jim. My dogs don't have to outswim the alligators … just the other dogs :)

  • Ok, so call me over cautious, but I think that any lake with alligator signs posted would be an area my dogs WOULDN't go swimming. :/

  • What a sweet dog park, well aside from the gator warning. My parents live in Florida for the winter and the general rule of thumb there for swimming in lakes and canals is that you don't! If you can't see to the bottom, don't go in, there might be a gator lurking around. Have fun in Savannah, looking forward to the next episode!

  • dogloversdigest says:

    Sounds like a good (and gator free) time was had by all. I am really encouraged by your trip. Thanks for showing us the many pet friendly places across the country. Keep em coming!

    • Hi Kevin … yes, were certainly trying to show people that, not only is it possible, but easy, to travel with your pet. We've done some great family activities – that could have easily included children as well as pets. Really, the whole family can travel together.

  • When I lived in southern Louisiana, I had to be careful because once in a while an alligator would come on someone's property. It was rare, but it did happen. They look so peaceful too, but are quite fast.

    • Remember the joke about walking with someone and you come across a hungry bear? You don't have to outrun the bear, just the person you're walking with. The problem is … I can't outrun Ty or Buster!

  • Robert says:

    I love that sign – “It is UNLAWFUL to feed alligators!” and BE GATOR SAFE – sounds like a fun day.

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