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Places to Take your Dog Swimming in Charlotte

Where to Take your Dog Swimming in Charlotte before Summer is Gone?

take dog swimming in charlotte

Summer is nearing an end, but as I write this, it’s still 86 degrees outside. You’re not the proud owner of a backyard pool or lakefront home, so where can you take your dog swimming in Charlotte?

  1. Latta Plantation – just a short drive north of the city, Latta Plantation is situated on Mountain Island Lake. I recommend driving all the way to the end of the road, parking in the parking lot and walking your dog from there. There are other paths, like one by the Raptor Center, if you want to walk a little further for more privacy. Be warned:it is illegal to let your dog off leash in Mecklenburg County, so be aware of park rangers or other personnel who might approach you. Tip: bring a few towels to protect your car seats and also check thoroughly for ticks (you and your dog) after your swim session.
  2. US National Whitewater Center – Located off I-485 in Southwest Charlotte, the Whitewater Center is kind of a hidden gem on the Catawba River. Parking is $6 (cash or card), but otherwise, it’s free to walk around with your dog. The USNWC is very dog-friendly, but there isn’t much shade except on the trails, so keep your dog hydrated and check his paw pads for burns or scrapes. Again, you have to keep your dog on a leash, but if you venture down the trail by the kayaks, you might find a private area to swim. Also, I took my dog on the kayak a few years ago and let him swim freely (wearing a life vest) once we were on the river.
  3. Mary Warner Mack Dog Park – For the ultimate off-leash swimming experience, take your dog to Mary Warner Mack Dog Park in Fort Mill, SC. It’s not far from Charlotte and worth the drive. You do have to apply for membership and follow a lot of rules, but that’s what keeps this dog park safe. Call for more information about their “open houses” held several times a year so you can see if it’s right for you and your dog.

Know of a place I missed? Email me and let me know –