Last year, I began a series I called “North Carolina Hiking” after a trip Jennifer and I made to Morrow Mountain. I vowed that each time we hiked, I’d add a new entry. Well, that was late in the summer, and we didn’t make any more hiking trips (it got too hot with too many ticks). We WILL, however, be making more trips this spring … but we’ll also visit more dog parks in our area, and I would like to review those as well.
To begin, Sanford and Lee County do NOT have a dog park. I wish they did, but I understand that cities our size don’t usually have the funding in place for a park entirely for dogs. I’d rather see more human parks that just allow dogs on leashes to begin with, and we can think of dog parks down the road.
That said, there are dozens of dog parks within an hour of Lee County, whether they’re in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Southern Pines or beyond. Jennifer and I have visited several, and since there’s very little about these parks online, I’m going to add my own thoughts.
The first one ….
MARTIN PARK, Southern Pines, N.C.
My wife and I are the parents of a 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who doesn’t really like other dogs, and a 5-month-old Bernese/Lab mix who loves other dogs. Trips to dog parks for us since we adopted Miles (the Bernese) have been fun, but Honey (the Jack Russell) hasn’t had such a great time because we can’t let her “mingle.” She’ll tear a dog’s face off if we did.
That’s why Martin Park is a Godsend for us. Approximately 30 minutes from Sanford, Martin Park is a several-acre piece of land full of sand trails, wooded trails and even a creek or two. It’s great for us because we can let Miles run leash-free AND keep Honey on a leash (just picking her up when another dog approaches).
We’ve been to Martin Park twice so far this March, and the gorgeous weather combined with our dogs’ need to get out of the house after a wet and cold past month has made both trips fun. Miles goes ape-doo over the creek and has shed just about all of his uncertainty about other dogs and now plays with new friends to his heart’s content. It’s hilarious to watch. And Honey likes the tall pine trees and opportunity to squirrel hunt out there.
• Location: Southern Pines/Aberdeen, on Commerce Street behind the Wal-Mart SuperCenter.
• Layout: Parking limited in a cul-de-sac (or in the Wal-Mart lot), no true “fence” so you may want to keep the dog leashed until you get on the trails. The back of the park does have a tall chain-linked fence.
• Pros: Large piece of land, several trails, lots of people but not TOO many, creek to get the dogs wet, space to “get away” from any crowds that do assemble
• Cons: Not entirely fenced in so dog COULD escape if not trained to “stay”, a few parts get muddy after a good rain (not good for clean paws), no waste disposal areas or pet “pick-up” areas.
(four out of five)
Video: Shot with my camera phone … shows Miles at the creek, getting mauled by Honey for no good reason.