Dog Days: A Dog Owner’s Guide to North Brunswick County
Brunswick County’s Best Places for Dog Walking
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Ethan Sigmon
Beautiful Brunswick County is a haven for people and their pets. The county’s parks, historical sites, beaches and green spaces make wonderful dog-walking locales, and improvements are being made all the time to make the area more desirable for both humans and canines. North Brunswick Magazine took a few dogs from local shelters out for a walk in some of these great locales. All of the dogs in the photos that follow are available for adoption. We hope these photos inspire you to visit a new place with your pet, or maybe even adopt a new pet to take along. Don’t forget to bring a leash!
Town of Leland Parks
Open Space Master Plan
Leland’s 2014 Parks and Recreation and Open Space Master Plan Survey revealed that what residents desire most is more walking trails. The surveyWestgate Nature Park results will be used for planning for future projects and to update the town’s Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan for 2015 through 2020. The results were not surprising to Leland Director of Parks and Recreation Niel Brooks, who cites the addition of more multi-use pathways as a common request he receives from Leland residents. More walkways is good news for area dog-owners who already enjoy a number of great places in Brunswick County to walk their canine companions.
Leland Municipal Park
102 Town Hall Drive, Leland
Leland’s Municipal Park opened in 2004 and expanded in 2006 with the addition of a playground. The park includes a 0.6-mile walking loop with convenient pet waste stations that make it an ideal dog-walking location.
The Municipal Park will play a role in the town’s new Sidewalk Loop Plan, in which almost a half-mile of paved sidewalk will be added to create a loop from Leland’s Town Hall down Village Road to Old Fayetteville Road. “That’s going to be a real nice pedestrian loop,” says Brooks. “Obviously, anything we do for pedestrians is good for dog-walkers as well.”
Westgate Nature Park
1260 West Gate Drive, Leland
Leland’s Westgate Nature Park resides on nearly 150 acres of land in the Westgate development area off U.S. Highway 17. Phase I of the park, completed in fall 2013, brought residents 0.3 miles of 10-foot-wide paved trails as well as a playground and outdoor classroom pavilion overlooking wetlands. The park, with its wide pathway, pet waste stations and pet hydrant (in operation during the warmer months), is perfect for dog walking.
Phase II of the park will complete a 1.5-mile loop of asphalt pathways with wooden bridges over low-lying wetlands area. According to Brooks, construction should begin in the fall of 2015, with an estimated completion date of summer 2016.
Town Creek District Park
6420 Ocean Highway E., Winnabow
Winnabow’s Town Creek District Park recently received a huge makeover. The newly revamped park includes not only miles of paved walkways for dog-walking, but also a ropes course, outdoor exercise equipment, a playground, soccer fields, baseball fields, batting cages and a picnic pavilion. Also included in the makeover was the addition of a dog park with space for both small and large dogs to run and play off leash.
Town Creek Park’s pathways wind past baseball fields and connect to Town Creek Elementary School via a wooded trailway. The connection is a result of a partnership between the school board and Brunswick County Parks and Recreation in which the board
dedicated a portion of the school’s land to the park.
“It’s a win-win for both of us,” says Melinda Johnson, marketing and communications coordinator for Brunswick County Parks and Recreation. “We have more land for the expansion, and the school is able to use our facilities.”
Brunswick Nature Park spans 911 acres and features miles of biking, horseback-riding and walking trails that can all be used for dog walking. Much of the park and surrounding land is undeveloped so wildlife is plentiful. Dog walkers can enjoy nature and take in the sights at the park’s scenic overlook, which showcases a lovely view of the park’s dock and boat launch.
Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson
8884 St. Philip’s Road SE, Winnabow
The historic site of Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson includes the foundations of a pre-Revolutionary War port and the earthworks from a Confederate fort that defended the Wilmington area during the Civil War. The 120-acre property has a long, continuous pathway that winds past the brick walls of St. Philips Church and various historical markers and offers a majestic view of the Cape Fear River.
Oak Island Beaches/Southport Area
Leashed dogs are permitted on Oak Island beaches year-round, and dogs are allowed on the beach off leash in marked areas from October 15 through March 15 from 6 am until 9 am. Owners must have voice control over their pets and are responsible for picking up any pet waste. After a visit to the beach, head to the island’s dog park, the Salty Dog Park, for off-leash play. The Salty Dog Park is located at 4601 E. Oak Island Drive.
E. Bay Street, Southport
Downtown Southport’s 9-acre Waterfront Park offers dog walkers a stunning view of the mouth of the Cape Fear River. In addition to the walking path with access to the beachfront, enjoy a public fishing pier, a shelter, benches, swings and picnic tables. After visiting the park, take your dog for a stroll through the downtown area and make sure to stop at Port City Java’s dog-walkers’ window, where you can walk up and place an order right from the street.
Need a Dog to Walk?
If you want to walk a dog but do not have one, there are plenty of dogs available for adoption from these Brunswick County animal groups. Not looking for that much commitment? Volunteer dog-walkers are also always needed.
Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Animal Protective Services
429 Green Swamp Road, Supply
Furever Friends Animal Rescue
3701 E. Boiling Spring Road, Winnabow
Southport/Oak Island Animal Rescue (SOAR)
3376 St. Charles Place, Southport