Dog Walkers in Darlington

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Dog Areas in Darlington

2 Parks
1 Trail
1 Shop
2 Groomers

In the northeastern corner of South Carolina, Darlington is the county seat and a popular destination for NASCAR fans. Whether you’re just in town for the races or settling in Darlington for good, this dog-loving city will welcome your fur family with open paws.

Darlington’s history predates the automobile; it was originally built as a cotton trading post for surrounding plantations. A courthouse town since 1785, Darlington is dotted with historic homes and landmarks — an ideal city to enjoy on foot. There are five separate districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

These days, Darlington is best known as home to Darlington Raceway, nicknamed “the Lady in Black” by some NASCAR fans and famous for its difficult asymmetrical track. The raceway’s official campgrounds welcome well-behaved dogs, although pups can’t join you for the actual race. (Hey, sounds like a great reason to book a walk.) If camping isn't your thing — not everyone wants to ruff it — you can also check in at the pet-friendly Raceway Inn.

Williamston Park is the dog-walking destination of choice in Darlington. This leafy nature preserve has one main trail with additional boardwalks over the creek and wetlands. You’ll spot hawks and songbirds while your pups sniff out turtles, lizards, and snakes; most species are harmless, but keep dogs on-leash for everyone’s protection.

Best Dog Neighborhoods in Darlington

  1. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 1,383/sq mi

    #1 Darlington City Center

    48

    Take a walking tour of Downtown Darlington and bone up on your local lore. Start at the St. John Elementary in the north of town and walk through the St. John’s Historic District, where Spanish moss drapes the trees around gracious Victorian homes. Head a couple of blocks east to Main Street and Courthouse Square, built in all brick thanks to an 1825 anti-fire law passed after the first courthouse burned down. Continue south down Main and veer off onto Broad Street: head east for the Darlington Industrial Historic District, and pause in the shade at Frank and Mary Sue Wells Park after viewing the old cotton warehouses. Or, head west for the West Broad Street Historic District: note the historical marker at the Lawrence Reese House and admire the other nineteenth-century mansions. 

    Dog neighborhood?
  2. Dog Parks 1
    Population Density 1,709/sq mi

    #2 Cypress Point

    36
    10 miles south of Darlington, Florence is a hotspot for doggy dining and retail therapy, with 25 dog-friendly restaurants and two major chain pet supply stores. It also has furrific spots for Spot to exercise. McLeod Park in the Cypress Point neighborhood has the closest off-leash dog park for Darlington pups. With multiple enclosures and a pond for splashing, McLeod Dog Park gives your buddy a shady spot to frolic. Back on-leash, you can explore the trails through the 48-acre park or head a few blocks north to the McLeod trailhead for the Florence Rail Trail. This 5-mile network of converted rail lines lets you explore the city on scenic greenways without dodging traffic.
    Dog neighborhood?
  3. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 122/sq mi

    #3 Great Pee Dee River Heritage Preserve

    24
    About 10 miles east of town, the Great Pee Dee River Heritage Preserve is over 2,700 acres of wilderness your pack will love to explore. Take in the views from the 7 miles of river if your dogs like to paddle, or get there high and dry via the hidden entrance on N. Charleston Rd, 1.5 miles northeast of the intersection with SC-34. (The gate will be closed but unlocked. Close it behind you and proceed to the sign-in kiosk.) Another 2.3 miles farther along the main access road are the bluffs over the Great Pee Dee River, where you and Spot can soak up the area's beauty from above. This land is protected from development but open to hunters, so exercise caution; hikers are urged to wear orange.
    Dog neighborhood?
  4. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 1,554/sq mi

    #4 Lee State Park

    12
    About 16.5 miles from Darlington, Lee State Park is a veritable puppy playground. The park's artesian springs are so pure that you (or your buddy) can drink directly from them, and the pond they feed makes a pretty backdrop for a trek on the one-mile Floodplains Trail. The wooded Sandhills Trail is an easy half-mile walk. For big dogs needing big challenges, the seven miles of equestrian trails offer plenty of exercise and some interesting piles to sniff. (Clean up any new piles, please.) The lightly-trafficked Loop Road leads down to the banks of the Lynches River for splashing or fishing. Lee State Park is home to three endangered species, so please keep Spot on leash at all times.
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  5. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 1,197/sq mi

    #5 South Cheraw

    0
    While your pups can't play on Cheraw State Park's acclaimed golf course, they're welcome in outdoor areas throughout the park. That includes the half-mile boardwalk over the Lake Juniper dam. Or, take your dogs for a paddle in a canoe from the boat rental kiosk. The Turkey Oak Trail is 4.7 easy miles, but you can return along the Cheraw Nature Trail to make it a 1.9-mile loop instead. If your pups are hardcore fitness beasts, you'll also find 9 miles of biking trails that are challenging without wheels. Keep an eye out for endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers and rare fox squirrels -- and make sure you have a good grip on the leash in case your pups see them first.
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