The Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Master Plan was originally published in 2009. The goal of the ongoing master planning process is to provide a clear path to developing and improving a robust countywide park and recreation system. The 2016 Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update was provided for County Council's consideration on 4/4/2016. The 2020 Master Plan Update is under development and is expected to be completed in June 2020.
An updated, recurring annual costs estimate is provided below, and is based on personnel, operations and maintenance activities associated with Ashley River Park, Davis-Bailey Park, Pine Trace Natural Area, Rosebrock Park, Texas Community Park, multiple river access points, up to 7 miles of new trails, programs, special events, and athletics. Recurring funding is also proposed for trails, small capital projects, and outreach grants to community recreation providers. Please note these figures are initial estimates, and subject to the annual County budget process and approval by County Council. Further budget refinement will take place as new facilities prepare to go online.
2019 Capital Bond ReferendumIn November 2019, Dorchester County voters approved a bond referendum question asking voters to approve the use of up to $38M for the provision of County park and recreation facilities. This funding has jump-started park development with Ashley River Park and Davis-Bailey Park currently under contract for construction.
Ashley River Park
In April 2020, Dorchester County executed a contract with Edcon, Inc. for construction of Ashley River Park (ARP). The total budget for park development is $13M. The project is expected to be completed in Summer 2021.
The unique 85 acre riverfront property will offer something for all ages and abilities with primary features that include trails, fishing pond, pavilion, picnic shelters, playground, splash fountain, dog parks, ropes course, climbing wall, festival lawn and kayak launch.
Visit the Ashley River Park page for more detailed project information.
Davis-Bailey Park (formerly Courthouse Park)
In April 2020, Dorchester County executed a contract with Hill Construction for construction of Davis-Bailey Park. The total budget for park development is $6M. The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2021.
Named in honor of County Councilmen and park champions Willie Davis (in memoriam) and George Bailey, Davis-Bailey Park will be located on 17 acres adjacent to the County Courthouse in St. George. The true multi-use Park will feature two illuminated youth baseball fields, two illuminated basketball courts, an illuminated multi-purpose field, paved walking trail, event pavilion, playground, splash fountain and pond.
Visit the Davis-Bailey Park page for more detailed project information.
Pine Trace Natural Area
A conceptual master plan for Pine Trace has been completed and the wetland permit for the site has been issued. This 300+ acre natural area will provide a forested oasis featuring trails, a pond, disc golf course, picnic shelter, outdoor classroom, dog parks, and will be the northern anchor for the Eagle Chandler Bridge Creek Multiuse Path. Development of design and construction documents will begin in Summer 2020.
Ashley River Blue Trail
The Ashley River Blue Trail Howard Bridgman Access at Bacon's Bridge opened to the public on December 2nd, 2017. The new access site, located at the front of Ashley River Park, provides public access to a unique stretch of river suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. As future plans for additional upstream access come to fruition, adventurers will be able to utilize a series of regular public launching points for trips of varying lengths from the headwaters of the Ashley River all the way to Charleston Harbor! Maps of the Ashley River Blue Trail are available by contacting Burt Connelly. Visit the Ashley River Access page for additional information on the blue trail.