Lowcountry Parks & Playgrounds: Gahagan Park


Welcome to our series: Lowcountry Parks & Playgrounds! Each article in this series focuses on specific parks/playgrounds at locations all throughout the Lowcountry.

Next up, Gahagan Park in Summerville!

Two wooden tower structures at Gahagan parkHold the phone, stop everything, get off this site, and grab your shoes because Gahagan Park is waiting for you — and you do not want to miss it! Gahagan Park, located near downtown Summerville, is truly a treasure, perfect for a half-day stop or full-day adventure. Here’s everything you need to know before making the trip . . . 

Also Known As: Jerry Blackwell Sports Complex at Gahagan Park

Location: 515 W. Boundary Street, Summerville, SC 29485

Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Price: Free

The Gahagan Playground

Part of the wooden playground at Gahagan Park.

My big kids weren’t sure about spending the day at a playground, but before we had even parked there were squeals of excitement. I love being able to see the playground from the road coming in and being able to park right next to it!

The playground is fenced and features wooden play structures begging for all sorts of imaginative play. My big kids immediately took off ducking through doorways, stepping over cracks, and scaling uneven stairs.

My littles went straight for the swings. They’ve got bucket swings for babies, one inclusive swing, tire swings, and good old-fashioned regular swings too.

As the kids settled into deep play enjoying the ropes, ladders, monkey bars of all heights, rings, and climbing wall, I took a seat on one of the many benches throughout the park. I took my husband with me and was happy for the extra set of eyes. While fully fenced, this park still has a few blindspots and kids can easily get lost as they run along the castle walls.

A wooden train and slide at Gahagan parkSoon, my littles were looking for help navigating the tot lot. Some kids were all in at the sandbox but my kids loved the heavy steering wheels and balancing on the short walls throughout throughout the play area.

I could not get enough of the handmade touches throughout this park, including the hand-carved radio and dials on the car in the tot lot. On a warm morning, this playground was fully shaded making it a cool and comfortable place to pass the time. 

PRO TIP: Pack for a long outing, this playground can draw some kids in for hours. Bring all the snacks, a picnic, a change of clothes, and diapers. Moms of big kids might want to bring a book. There is fun to be had at Gahagan Park!

Jerry Blackwell Sports Complex at Gahagan Park

You’ll notice on maps there are quite a few baseball fields here too — six to be exact! On the day we visited, the fields were mostly empty or being used by small groups; however, there are tournaments held here frequently too. The Sports Complex has concession stands that are used during sporting events, sheds for equipment, and bathrooms. 

PRO TIP: Pack your favorite frisbee or ball to extend the trip! 

Trails and Paths

A paved trail leading to a small wooden bridge surrounded by trees and foliageThere are many different paths connecting the baseball fields and along the outer edge of the park. These paths would be perfect for a stroller, little bike rider, or scooter gang. Trails are marked in yellow on the maps found throughout the Sports Complex and include portions through the woods and along a pond. There are some wooden bridges but a set of wheels should be able to handle them just fine. 

PRO TIP: Keep your little ones close near Field A as the path runs quite close to the road here. 

Amenities in the Park

  • Bathrooms

There are bathrooms within the fenced area at the playground! Score! And more bathrooms located throughout the sports complex and near the trails. There is a diaper changing station in the bathroom at the playground.

PRO TIP: While safe and well-lit, the metal gate and clanging wood doors in the bathroom can give some kids an uneasy feeling. Consider staying close or accompanying your kids here. 

Picnic tables with restrooms in the background

  • Picnic Areas

We loved the wooden picnic tables at the playground. They are right inside the fence near the back. I love that they are set away from the playground a little so kids can come and eat and then go back to play when they are finished. If I were to go with a big group, I’d feel comfortable setting up here and letting the kids come and go.

There are also two covered pavilions in the Sports Complex and picnic tables in the woods near Field B. These pavilions are perfect for a child overwhelmed by the action at the playground or to be used as a fun picnic spot after your walk on the path. 

PRO TIP: Looking to host a birthday party or special event? Consider reserving a pavilion or field from the town of Summerville. 

  • Accessibility 

The trails and paths are fairly smooth and not too steep. There are wooden bridges with a slight lip and small gaps between boards to navigate. The playground is entirely wood chip and the play structure has skinny tunnels and uneven surfaces. The bathrooms in the playground had signs saying they were wheelchair accessible and could be accessed via a paved path and gate near the covered picnic tables. There are grab bars in the last stall; however, it is an unusual size and could be a reach for some people. 

PRO TIP: Saul Alexander Park is a nearby playground that might be easier to navigate using a wheelchair. 

Nearby Food and Fun

After a fun-filled time at Gahagan Park, Downtown Summerville is just minutes away and has tons of incredible restaurants and shops. My family enjoys stopping at Puma’s after the playground for crazy hot dogs and yummy Italian ice. I can also recommend Benny Mazzetto’s for its giant pizza, The Icehouse for its family-friendly courtyard, and Five Loaves for the best gluten-free menu in town. 

PRO TIP: Ask for the check when you get your food so you can get those tired kids home the second they’re finished eating. 

What is your favorite feature of Gahagan Park? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out some other parks and playgrounds in this series!