Dog Walkers in Rion

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Dog Areas in Rion

This unincorporated district in the outer Columbia, SC metropolitan area serves as a bedroom community for the state capital. Though still quite small, Rion is poised to grow as a gateway to both Columbia’s urban sprawl and the Midlands' many recreation opportunities. It offers a slow rural pace without sacrificing on barkworthy recreation.

Proximity to bustling Columbia gives Rion’s dog lovers access to the city’s many dog parks — there are six within the Columbia city limits — and its excellent services. Two of metro-Columbia’s dog parks are within a 20-mile trip from Rion: Sesquicentennial State Park’s dog run and Lake Carolina Dog Park. Sesquicentennial offers annual passes for just $25 for their off-leash 2-acre dog run, and the park also has 1,400 acres to explore, including a 30-acre lake and 12 miles of on-leash hiking trails. For better playtime at home, Palmetto Scoopers pet waste removal service can have your yard spic-and-span with weekly or bi-weekly poop-busting plans.

There’s plenty to do outside of the city, too, including the 500 miles of lakeshore at nearby Lake Murray. Once the world’s largest man-made reservoir, Lake Murray will delight the water dogs in your pack. If you prefer your recreation dry, here’s an activity you’ve probably never done with your dog: antiquing. The Little Mountain Unlimited Antique Mall offers 70 stalls in an indoor-outdoor setting, and well-behaved dogs are welcome to join you as you browse.

Best Dog Neighborhoods in Rion

  1. Dog Parks 1
    Population Density 5,749/sq mi

    #1 Shandon


    Established as a town in 1904, the Columbia neighborhood of Shandon offers leafy shade and sidewalks through a labyrinth of homes dating from the early 20th century. For dogs who don’t care about history, though, try Pupcakes Pet Boutique and Bakery, with a wide variety of healthy and decadent doggy treats for sale. They’ll even host birthday “pawties” for your fur babies. Work off the calories at Emily Douglas Park, particularly the off-leash dog park! It has the distinction of being one of Columbia’s few free public dog parks. The leash-required areas of the park also include an amphitheater and lawn perfect for lounging around. 

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  2. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 46/sq mi

    #2 Jenkinsville


    For a taste of nature in an unusually quiet setting, consider Lake Monticello Park in Jenkinsville, a mere 12 miles northeast of Rion. No development is allowed on the lake, which means no houses: you can really get your bark on. Water-skiing or jet-skiing are also no-nos, so dogs who fear loud noises have a peaceful play-spot. The water level can shift up to 5 feet due to the lake’s hydroelectric dam, so keep an eye on swimming dogs. The park offers a fishing pier and sports fields along with a one-mile paved trail, so you have a range of places to walk or soak up the sun. Best of all, Lake Monticello Park is completely free! Nearby is the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station Nature Trail (if the name doesn’t scare you off) offering an additional 1.5 miles of hiking.

    Dog neighborhood?
  3. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 496/sq mi

    #3 Dreher Island

    Dreher Island State Park in Prosperity is just over 30 miles from Rion but worth every barking inch. Spread out over three islands nestled inside Lake Murray, the park has three different recreational trails to match any pup's stamina, from the 0.3-mile Nature Trail to the 2.1-mile Little Gap Trail. Dogs can’t stay overnight at the lakeside villas but are welcome on leash in the park’s other outdoor areas. Bonus: You can turn any cove into your own personal beach, as swimming is permitted throughout the park’s extensive shoreline (although always at your own risk).
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  4. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 1,800/sq mi

    #4 Irmo City Center


    A Columbia suburb near the lake, Irmo brings together the best of town and country less than 30 miles from Rion. There are 3 dog-friendly restaurants, including carnivore’s paradise Carolina Wings. From the pup perspective, though, Irmo is all about its free and beautiful city parks. Irmo Town Park has a small amphitheater: stage your own mini dog show. Just a few blocks away, Irmo Community Park has walking trails surrounded by a 0.4-mile loop, as well as grassy lawns, plenty of trees, and good (human) restrooms. Irmo Veterans Park is another good pick for athletes: pups get their workout on a walking trail featuring built-in human exercise stations along the way. Dogs make great spotters!  

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  5. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 350/sq mi

    #5 Chapin City Center

    When your pup is ready for a taste of civilization but Columbia's hustle and bustle aren't his scene, consider Chapin, about 25 miles from Rion. The hub of this bustling community near the lake has 9 different patio dining options for you and your furry family. For gearing up, there's the specialty coffee at Wired Goat Cafe. For winding down, try the Tipsy Toad Tavern. Are they kidding with these names? Frayed Knot (which is also a dog-friendly bar and grill). The best real estate in town, though, is the enormous waterfront covered deck at Rusty Anchor Restaurant. You'll need to earn those calories, but Crooked Creek Park has a 2 miles of walking trails where leashed dogs are welcome, and even a 27-hole disc golf course.
    Dog neighborhood?
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