By Wendy Carpenter-Israel
March 5, 2012
Where can I take my dog swimming in the Washington, DC metro area?
I love the focus of this dog. I hope he found a fun place to swim in DC, MD, VA.
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Last week the National Park Service announced the predicted peak bloom dates for the cherry blossoms. According to the chief horticulturalist, Rob DeFeo, the peak dates will likely fall between March 24 and 31. Peak bloom is defined as the day on which 70 percent of the Yoshino blossoms (the hybrid variety that makes up the majority of the city’s trees) are open. This year’s prediction is earlier than usual, thanks to our warm winter, but it’s not the earliest by far. In 1990, the peak bloom fell on March 15. The District’s latest peak bloom date was April 18, 1958. The average is April 4. Last year, the blossoms reached their pinnacle on March 29.
With all this lovely weather it is easy to start dreaming about those warm, sunny months ahead. After you call your friends and relatives to let them know when the blossoms will peak, make a few vacation plans for yourself. You will most likely want one after the relatives head home from the Cherry Blossom Festival. Once you have taken care of your plans, don’t forget about your dog’s needs. The warmer weather and house guests will have your pup itching to go for a run or a swim. And if your dog is swimmer, you probably already know it’s not that easy to find a place for dogs to swim that doesn’t seem to get the “rules police” all hot and bothered.
Here are my favorite swimming holes for dogs in the DC Metro Area.
(Of course, pets should be kept on a six foot leash.)
Turkey Run Park - Located along the beautiful Virginia shore of the Potomac River just 7 miles from downtown Washington, D.C., Turkey Run Park contains over 700 acres of mostly forested land. There is easy parking and a wonderful walk along the river that is ideal for fishing and dog swimming. This is a hike, so wear shoes that can handle the steep, muddy terrain. A note of caution, please do not let your dog swim in the river after heavy rains or flooding.
Cabin John Local Park - This great little park is known for the terrific playground, tennis courts and baseball field. It is located off MacArthur Blvd. on the west side (Cabin John side) of the Cabin John Bridge (one-lane bridge.) Park right past the tennis courts and take your pooch past the playground down onto a wooded trail. The path will immediately head down a steep embankment. Walk three minutes straight ahead to a beautiful wide, deep creek. Here your pup can swim about. If you have a little more time, you can head down the path to the left and within seven minutes you will come upon a large, deep swimming hole. This is a magnificent place for dogs to swim and romp around!
Columbia Island Marina – This beautiful boat marina is located right off the George Washington Parkway near the Pentagon. It is a perfect place to enter the Potomac River for fishing, kayaking and cruising by the monuments. It also is a perfect for your dog to go for a swim. Relax enjoy a burger and a beer from the Columbia Island Café while your dog has a super time splashing about. It doesn’t get much better than this for a city dog.