Hilton Head Outdoor Activities | Hilton Head Outfitters Blog

BikeIsland

There’s no better way to get around Hilton Head Island than by bike. From scenic coastal roads to winding tree-lined streets, cycling is the easiest – and dare we say most enjoyable – way to get around and see everything Hilton Head Island has to offer.

So where exactly can you go? We’ve put together some trail options for both the beginner biker and the more experienced cyclist. So get ready to put your Palmetto Dunes vacation into gear – bike gear that is!

Bike the beach
Map link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zF2Uc5Nz45wU.ksRGl7jIYboE&usp=sharing

Start at the Hilton Head Outfitters. This is where you’ll rent a  bike. We offer bikes for every member of your family and can get you set up with everything you’ll need from helmets to maps.

Get a feel for your bike on the path along Ocean Lane Drive. Stick to the dedicated bike path, it’s safer and makes for better views. If you want to stop to take a photo, just pull over to the side so other cyclists can pass on the left.

There are access points to the beach all along Ocean Lane Drive. Bikes can be ridden easily on the packed sands, especially at low tide, so take a leisurely ride along the beach and see Hilton Head Island’s best side .

The trick to beach riding is not to try and go too fast–probably best if you’re just starting out, anyway. Take in the atmosphere as you wind up the beach to find a good spot for that take-out lunch from Big Jim’s you packed in the bike’s basket.

Over 200 miles of pathway
Map link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zF2Uc5Nz45wU.kbVK_e6yLjdM&usp=sharing

Hilton Head Island is completely connected by bike paths. Many follow main roads providing cyclists a safe, quick way to get around the island. From the Outfitters by the beach, head on the paths along Queens Folly Road and under the highway to Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina.

This is a great spot for lunch or evening entertainment and it’s only a short bike away. Lock your bike in one of the many bike racks and head off for some shopping, or to ride a jet pack, at the marina.

At Shelter Cove, you’ll find your first pathway kiosk. These are dotted all over Hilton Head Island and are your link to the rest of the trails with maps and other local info. You’ve only just connected to the main Hilton Head bike network.

Now it’s time to experience the lowcountry. Take a proper bike trip north along the William Hilton Parkway, onto Marshlands Drive, then turn right onto Leg O Mutton Road, which takes you up a winding path on a lovely, quiet, wooded ride through the heart of Hilton Head Island’s amazing ecosystem.

From there, bear left and go under the highway and you’ll find the Honey Horn park and the Coastal Discovery Museum, both great ways to get close to the island’s nature. Or bear right and turn at Beach City Road to pass under the live oak canopy and into old Mitchelville, the first community in America founded by freed slaves.

The serious cyclist
Map link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zF2Uc5Nz45wU.k1EcNie2pIuo&usp=sharing

There’s lots to do for every level of cyclist at Palmetto Dunes, so if you’re looking for more than a slow ride along the beach, take a trip through some of Bluffton’s most historic and scenic wetlands.

Bike out highway 278 (the Parkway) to the town of Bluffton. This is about a two and a half hour ride along flat, public roads.

In Bluffton, turn left onto Lake Point Drive and then right onto highway 46, the May River Road. You’ll pass through Pritchardville, then come to a parking lot for the New River Linear Trail.

That’s a short hiking/biking trail along an old railbed, and runs south to the river through remote lowcountry. There are interpretive signs documenting the area’s history, and the trail is part of the East Coast Greenway project, so experienced trail riders can connect to other nearby trails.

If you’re up for a few miles more, continue along May River Road and right onto highway 170 then left when you reach highway 17. That’ll take you to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge where you can explore all manner of flora and fauna.

If you do head off Hilton Head Island, make sure you’re prepared with water and snacks to keep you fueled for your adventure. Allow at least a couple of hours riding to get back before dark, too.

Shifting gears
A few handy tips and tricks:

  • In peak season, it’s a very good idea to book a bike at least 72 hours ahead of time. If you plan to do a lot of cycling, call Hilton Head Outfitters (866) 380-1783 in advance of arrival to snag a good bike.
  • You can get a variety of attachments for carrying young children, all from the Outfitters.
  • Wash down the bike after you use it. This helps clean off corrosive salt picked up from sand.
  • Lock the bike at all times.
  • Remember to bring water for longer bike trips to stay hydrated.

One of the best features of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is our stunning lagoon system. It’s perfect for paddling and exploring, and provides incredible views and wildlife experiences. Did you know our lagoon network is man made? It even helped save the beach itself! We owe so much of all there is to see and do at Palmetto Dunes to the lagoon system that we thought it deserved its own place in the sun!

Lagoon_KateDunphyThe serene beauty of our 11-mile lagoon network by Instagram user Kate Dunphy

The lagoon system was created in the 1970s to address two major issues at the resort: shallow waterways and an eroding beachfront. Due to receding tides and ground seepage of water through the then narrow dune zone, the 150-foot wide beach was too waterlogged at low tide to be of use. At high tide the 3-mile long beach would almost disappear! Can you imagine Palmetto Dunes without the dunes? Or a Hilton Head Island vacation without the beach? No thanks!

The resort enlisted the help of world-renowned Danish engineer Dr. Per Bruun to find a solution to their damp dilemma. His answer was to dredge 2 million cubic yards of sand, to create the 11-mile saltwater lagoon system, and transport it to the beachfront. The sand was then sculpted into the picturesque 11-foot dunes you see today. What started out as a marshy area no one could enjoy was crafted into a stunning new beach that was 4 to 5 feet higher and 120 to 150 feet wider than before!

Lagoon_beachfrontOur stunning beach, crafted by sand delivered from our lagoon system.

These 11 miles of new waterways gave Palmetto Dunes so many more activities and attractions to offer our guests that it’s no surprise we’ve been named No. 1 Family Resort in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure Family. The calm waters make the lagoon system perfect for beginners to try water sports like kayaking and canoeing. Don’t fret if you’re a more experienced paddler, it’s an amazing trip for all skill levels! Hilton Head Outfitters has all the rentals and gear you need to set out on a fun-filled lagoon excursion.

Lagoon-Kayaking

The lagoon system is home to otters, turtles, and alligators, as well as over 40 species of birds. Make sure your camera or phone is waterproof so you can get some great wildlife shots! You can get a sneak peak of our three golf courses by boat too! Arthur Hills, George Fazio and Robert Trent Jones courses can all be seen as you make your way through the lagoon network.

Lagoon_golfThe lagoon passing by the George Fazio golf course.

We can’t forget fishing! From Hilton Head Outfitters you can charter a guided fishing tour led by experienced and entertaining captains. Quiet electric skiffs won’t scare away your inevitable big catch and come stocked with snacks and refreshments. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a family looking to spend some quality time together, a fishing excursion on the lagoon should definitely be on your to-do list when you visit Palmetto Dunes!

Lagoon_fishingInstagram user Kyle Ball hooked this whopper on his fishing excursion.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of the lagoon system by land, too. Go for a cycle or a stroll through semi-tropical vegetation and get back to nature. Bicycles are available for rent from Hilton Head Outfitters and are one of the best ways to see the island. If you’ve got little ones in tow you can even rent a jogging stroller to get around.

Now that you’ve earned an appreciation of our lagoon system and all it has to offer, it’s about time to start planning your stay at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort!

Hilton Head Island is a perfect island retreat, known for world-class golf courses and miles of beautiful beaches. But few places can compete with the island for nature lovers. Wildlife abounds on land, in lagoons and in the ocean, and Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort guests have the pleasure of sharing their pristine, natural environment. Wondering where to see the wandering wildlife? We’ve got the scoop! Let us fill you on the best places to spot wildlife on Hilton Head Island.

BirdPalmetto Dunes Lagoon

The 11-mile inland lagoon at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort runs through our backyard and is a perfect place to get up close and personal with our wildlife. Take a scenic kayak or canoe ride and you’re almost guaranteed to see one of the 160 bird species or variety of fish that call our island home. Keep an eye out, and you may even spot a low-country alligator sunning themselves.

@theprfrank

Beachfront

Explore our miles of beaches to catch crabs crawling around the tide line and spot bottlenose dolphins playing by the shore. If you’re visiting in the spring or early summer, you may be lucky enough to have the unique experience of witnessing a Loggerhead Sea Turtle crawl up the beach to lay their eggs or, a couple months later, watching their hatchlings return to the sea.

Fishing

On the water

One of the best ways to experience Hilton Head Island wildlife is on the water. Discover the fisherman within you by joining one of our fishing charters out of Shelter Cove Marina and cast a line for trout, redfish, ladyfish, jack crevalle, cobia, tarpon and sharks – or king mackerel if the conditions are right. If you’re looking to get even closer to our marine life, jump on a paddleboard or catch a wave with our surf lessons.

Deer

Around the Island

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers nearly 5 miles of paved paths while the entire island of Hilton Head offers more than 80 miles of trails. Explore the island by foot or by bike, and along the way you’ll see even more of our island natives – including furry friends like deer, rabbits, and minks, and more slithery species such as snakes, frogs, toads, lizards and salamanders.

Now that you know the best wildlife spotting sites, grab your camera and capture our wildlife in their natural environment. “Like” us on Facebook and share your animal photos using #PalmettoDunes.

Recent Posts

Tweet Pin It There’s no better way to get around Hilton Head Island than by bike. From scenic coastal roads to winding tree-lined streets, cycling is the easiest – and dare we say most enjoyable – way to get around and see everything Hilton Head Island has to offer. So where exactly can you go? […]

Tweet Pin It One of the best features of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is our stunning lagoon system. It’s perfect for paddling and exploring, and provides incredible views and wildlife experiences. Did you know our lagoon network is man made? It even helped save the beach itself! We owe so much of all there is […]