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A Guide to James Island County Park

Photo: Evan Guthrie via Google Maps.

Nestled just a stone’s throw away from the historic heart of Charleston, James Island County Park is a crown jewel in South Carolina’s park system. Spanning over 600 acres, this lush oasis of natural beauty and vibrant outdoor activities serves up a diverse menu of fun and relaxation for residents and visitors alike.

A Bounty of Amenities

At James Island County Park, the outdoors is your playground. Explore miles of paved trails ideal for walking, biking, and skating, or enjoy a picnic at one of the many scenic spots equipped with tables and grills. The park’s open meadows provide plenty of space for frisbee games or relaxed strolls, and a dedicated playground keeps the younger ones entertained.

For water enthusiasts, the park’s saltwater fishing and crabbing facilities provide a fun challenge, while pedal boat, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard rentals invite you to explore the park’s waterways. There is also plenty of wildlife to be seen, including the occasional gator, so be careful!

Sports lovers will appreciate the sand volleyball court and the 18-hole disc golf course, both providing a perfect way to enjoy some friendly competition in a beautiful setting.

Note: The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources requires a saltwater fishing license to fish in the tidal creeks. More information can be found on their official website.

Pet-Friendly Pursuits

Photo by David Rogers via Google Maps.

Dogs are not left out of the fun at James Island County Park. The park boasts an off-leash dog park where your furry friends can socialize and play freely. This expansive area includes a cool lake for pups to splash in and separate sections for small and large dogs to ensure a safe, enjoyable environment.

It’s a good place to “let the dogs out”.

Adventure and Excitement

The park’s Climbing Wall and the Challenge Course promise an adrenaline rush for those seeking more adventure. With various courses to challenge all skill levels, these facilities provide thrilling ways to push your limits and have fun in the process.

Splash Zone Waterpark

One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Splash Zone Waterpark. Open seasonally, this aquatic playground features thrilling slides, a lazy river, and an interactive play structure, providing a refreshing retreat for all ages from South Carolina’s heat.

A Campground with a View

For an immersive nature experience, James Island County Park offers a well-equipped campground with 124 sites and 10 vacation cottages.

Overlooking the picturesque Stono River marsh, these facilities cater to RVs and traditional camping with all the necessary amenities, including restrooms, showers, laundry rooms, and a camp store.

For more information on camping & lodging at James Island County Park, visit the Charleston County Parks website.

Festive Celebrations

The park transforms into a magical luminary spectacle during the holiday season with the Holiday Festival of Lights. This annual tradition enchants with over two million twinkling lights, creating a captivating winter wonderland for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Park Hours & Fees

The park’s hours vary by season:

  • January – April: 8 a.m. – Sunset
  • May – August: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • September & October: 8 a.m. – Sunset
  • November – December: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The park closes to incoming traffic 30 minutes before the official closing time. Be sure to check the specific schedules for the Climbing Wall, Disc Golf Course, and Splash Zone Waterpark on the park’s official website.

Amenities like boat and bike rentals open at 10 a.m., while the Spray Play Fountain is open from April 1 – October 1, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Please note that the fountain opens at 12 p.m. on Wednesdays. The dog park is closed on Wednesdays from 7 – 9 a.m. for routine maintenance.

Plan Your Visit

Whether you’re a local or visiting Charleston, James Island County Park promises a delightful escape into South Carolina’s natural beauty. Check the park’s official website for the most current information on amenities, events, and any seasonal changes.