Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Master Plan
The Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Master Plan was originally published in 2009. Since January of 2015, work has been ongoing to update the master plan based on current factors and public feedback. The goal of this process is to provide a clear path to developing a robust countywide park and recreation system. The 2016 Update was provided for County Council's consideration on 4/4/2016.
On 11/8/16, Dorchester County voters approved 61% to 39% the Parks and Libraries Capital Bond Referendum. This means that $13M in park bond proceeds may be utilized to develop and open Ashley River Park, Pine Trace Natural Area, Courthouse Park, and various trail projects to the public. On 4/17/17, County Council passed the first of three readings required to issue the bonds.
Schematic design and permitting are underway for Ashley River Park. The unique 85 acre riverfront property will offer something for all ages and abilities with major features including trails, fishing pond, event spaces, playground, dog park, ropes course, picnic areas and kayak launch. Current estimates have construction starting near the end of this year with a 9 month construction period.
Currently, the Courthouse Park project is the most advanced major park project. With a Master Plan approved by Council last August, permitting, design, and construction drawing development phases are nearing completion. Park construction is anticipated to commence by the end of this summer. This truly multiuse park will be a draw for the entire region featuring the following components: youth baseball fields, soccer/football field, basketball courts, paved walking trail, pond, great lawn, custom designed playground, adult fitness area, event pavilion, and splash fountain. Naming rights and partnership opportunities are currently available. Please contact us for more information.
Preliminary investigative work has been undertaken for Pine Trace Natural Area. Planning and regulatory work are underway, and master planning is expected to begin near the end of this year. This 300+ natural area will provide a forested oasis featuring trails, a pond, disc golf course, picnic shelter, outdoor classroom, dog run, and will be the northern anchor for the Eagle Chandler Bridge Creek Trail.
Construction on two new canoe and kayak launches on the upper reaches of the Ashley Scenic River is anticipated to kickoff this summer. These access sites will provide full connectivity for the Ashley River Blue Trail, where paddlers will be able to utilize regular launching points for trips of varying lengths from the headwaters of the Ashley River all the way to Charleston Harbor!
Lastly, if Transportation Alternatives Program grant funding is awarded, the 4.1 mile Eagle Chandler Bridge Creek Trail will be paved and signed. $217K in 2016 Bond proceeds would likely serve as the required local match for the $1.08M trail project.
Any delay in issuing the bonds could impact project development schedules. Ultimately, County Council will determine how the $13M in bond proceeds is divided between the eligible recreation facility projects.
2016 Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update
2016 Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update Presentation Slides
Map of Proposed Park Locations
Ashley River Blue Trail Access Site - Bacon's Bridge
Ashley River Blue Trail Access Site - Swan Drive
Ashley River Park Conceptual Plan
Bridlewood Farms Conceptual Plan
County Courthouse Park Master Plan
Eagle Run Park Conceptual Plan - Note: The plan for Eagle Run has changed considerably and no current visual concept is available.
Pine Trace Natural Area Conceptual Plan
Woodland Park Conceptual Plan