Best Day Trips to Take Near Charleston with You & Your Dog

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Are you and your furry friend itching to get outside? We’re sure you have stuck-at-home syndrome by now (much worse than cabin fever) and since the weather is finally nice, it might be time to hit the trails. We’ve scoured everything within driving distance of Charleston to bring you some of the best spots for you and spot. Throw on your backpack and hiking shoes and let’s hit the dirt road.

  1. Spoonauger Falls

We figured we’d start with something a bit more family-friendly and leisurely for our first stop. This Chattooga River gorge hike is about half a mile and has plenty of green foliage. Once you find the 50-foot falls, you and your pup can wade around the shallow pool at the bottom and take in the beautiful scenery.

  1. Congaree National Park Trails

Still bordering on easy, we come across South Carolina’s only national park. Because of all the fallen trees, it can be great exercise (think running across a track full of hurdles), but it’s otherwise a simple set of trails. It also features one of the largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forests left in the southeast.

  1. Jumping Off Rock

This is a very short trail, but it’s still worth the trip just to get to the top. The panoramic view of Lake Jocassee is one of the most beautiful sights you can see in the Carolinas. There are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife along the way.

  1. Caw Caw Interpretive Trail

If you and your furry friend love birds, Caw Caw is the place for you. It’s easy to mix and match trails to different lengths depending on how much time you want to spend exploring. Almost all of them are relatively simple and family-friendly.

  1. Shem Creek Park

Looking for something a little more relaxing? Here you can check out the trails or take in the soothing calm offered by the creek and wetlands. If it’s available, Shem Creek is also a great place for fishing. Once things get back to normal, there are a ton of great restaurants in the area, too.

  1. Old Santee Canal Park

If you’ve ever wanted to walk along America’s first canal, bring your pup to Old Santee. The gorgeous historic buildings and easy-to-travel boardwalk make it a fun but leisurely trek.

  1. Jones Gap Falls

This hike is rated as moderate, so it’s a little more adventurous than some of the others, but it’s still suitable for a dog on a leash. It features a beautiful waterfall that is a must-see. You’ll find fishing and camping spots along the trail as well. It is experienced a partial closure due to the pandemic, so check in before you visit this (or any other) trails as the status is frequently changing.

When life returns to normal, check out this list of Holy City dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants, bars, beaches, and hotels.

  1. Wannamaker North Trail

This trail is 13 miles long, so unless you’re biking, it’s not one you’ll tackle in one effort.  Expect plenty of wildlife sightings here.

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