Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Outer Banks, NC - PETS NOT ALLOWED Beach & the Dog Park across the street!

Old Swimming Hole
 410 Airport Road, Manteo, NC
Old Swimming Hole has a  sign that reads "PETS NOT ALLOWED."  This sign put off some pet owners, and It's harsh feeling rejected. My Grandfather said, "if it's not good enough for my dog, it's not good enough for me." A lot of pet owners feel this way.

During our busy lives, it's hard to find the time to think outside the box. People tend to accept what is presented to them as fact. But when we do have that precious moment to think, we go, "Vala, I've got it!"

Looking at any situation from all angles has its advantages. The answer lies in the logistics and location of the presented "PETS NOT ALLOWED" sign. 

Let's look at the location first because it truly is a most beautiful place. Old Swimming Hole is located at 410 Airport Road, Manteo, NC. Fortunately, airport Road has enjoyed a lot of development over the years.

For those that use landmarks as directions, as you come toward the end of Airport Road and pass the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island on your right, you will see a stop sign and road to your right leading to Old Swimming Hole. The road leading to Old Swimming Hole is right before the entry gates of the Dare County Regional Airport, located at the end of Airport Road.

What does Old Swimming Hole have to offer? Why even bother? Well, a lot of advantages lie in this location. As you come to the end of the road leading to Old Swimming Hole and turn left into the parking lot, you will pass a huge covered picnic pavilion on your right and a small building on your left that has the handicap accessible Men's and Women's restrooms, open from 11am to 6 pm each day. 

As you park your car, you will notice the large grassy area to the left of the pavilion with fixed outdoor grills, generously spaced. Picnic tables are abundant inside the covered Pavillion, and having the restrooms so close has made this location known for family reunions, birthday parties, etc.

A little farther down, you will notice the playground. As you walk down to the beach, you will see a tall lifeguard stand to your left, right behind the playground.There is a lifeguard on duty seven days a week from Memorial Day thru Labor Day, from 11 am to 6 pm.

As your feet hit the sand, you will notice a deep contrast from the Atlantic oceanfront grainy sand. Old Swimming Hole is located on the sound and has much finer sandy beaches. The grains of sand are smaller and softer to the touch but still make great sandcastles.

There are no big repetitive waves here or threat of rip currents found at the Atlantic oceanfront beaches. Instead, the small gentle waves lap the sandy shores.The water is brackish, which means that it is a mix of saltwater and freshwater.The waters are shallow and relaxing.

Periodically you will have planes fly overhead leaving or entering the Dare County Regional Airport. This sky activity may cause the nesting Osprey that lives on the old ferry dock piling to the right of the beach to fly. So be prepared for lots of aviation both from people and nature.

Now that I have described the advantages of this beautiful sound-front beach, where does your pet fit in? First, let's look at what we pass on the left side of the road on your journey to Old Swimming Hole.

Right across from the North Carolina Aquarium Roanoke Island, on your left, you will see a large brick building at 370 Airport Road, and this is the Emergency Operation Center. The Emergency Operation Center deals with Beach Hazards, Hurricanes, Hurricane Preparedness, Resources, Dare County Fire Marshal, and Hazardous Chemical Reporting issues.

The ANSWER is beside the Emergency Operation Center, which may make the Old Swimming Hole a Great location for people with dogs. I know that you must be wondering what it could be, so let's go on.

Roanoke Island Dog Park
photo by Seaside Photography 
You will see an extensive grassy fenced-in area from the road with a large blue canopy shading long sitting benches; there may be people sitting there. You may even see a group of dogs running around playing and socializing. You have found the Roanoke Island Dog Park.

The New Dare County Animal Shelter, located at 378 Airport Road, Manteo, NC, is behind the Roanoke Island Dog Park.

Just like Old Swimming Hole has lots of offer people, the Roanoke Island Dog Park has lots to offer dogs. The dog park has two fenced-in areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs.

There are water spigots on both sides of the Roanoke Island Dog Park, making freshwater readily available. In addition, water bowls and Wading Pools are conveniently located on both sides of the dog park. There are also free poop clean-up bags and trash cans readily available.

The Roanoke Island Dog Park requires free registration. In addition, you will need your dog's up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate. Once your application is processed, you will receive a unique dog park tag to attach to your pet's collar. 

Now, let's reassess the situation.
On the left side of Airport Road,nearing the Dare County Regional Airport, is the Roanoke Island Dog Park. On the Right side of  Airport Road, before entering the Dare County Regional Airport gates, is the road leading to the Old Swimming Hole. One pet-friendly and one non-pet-friendly. Can we combine the use of both for a win-win situation?

The Outer Banks is known for its Pet-Friendliness.In addition to the vast amount of pet-friendly rental homes, motels, hotels & campgrounds, the Outer Banks has Boarding Kennels, Doggie Daycare, Pet Sitters, Dog Walkers, and even Mobile Pet Groomers & Veterinarians. 

Dare County Park and Recreation Department operate the Roanoke Island Dog Park. Dare County Parks and Recreation Department at 100 Wescott Park Road, Manteo, NC who is  in charge of free registrations for the Roanoke Island Dog Park, was called. This question was asked, "Can a pet sitter watch a registered dog at the Roanoke Island Dog Park?"

The phone call was transferred to the Public Services Director for Dare County Parks and Recreation. The response was, quote: 

"It is fine for someone to supervise a dog while at the Roanoke Island Dog Park as long as the dog has been registered with the Dare County Parks & Recreation Department and all rules for the park are followed."

We know now that Pet owners can simultaneously use Old Swimming Hole and the Roanoke Island Dog Park, with a bit of help, that is. This can be a Win-Win Situation for both you and your pet.

National Public Lands Day 2022

Annually the fourth Saturday of September is National Public Lands Day. This year National Public Lands day is  September 24th, 2022 . Natio...