Biking Around Hilton Head Island
by Heiko Obermoeller
My morning in Harbour Town on the south end of Hilton Head Island began wonderfully relaxed. Only a few people were out as I strolled along the scenic marina and enjoyed my morning coffee at one of the nice little cafes here. At the red and white striped Harbour Town Lighthouse, one of the landmarks of Hilton Head Island, a group of children passed by shouting with excitement as they embarked on a pirate ship tour from the nearby pier. I was looking forward to my biking tour of this welcoming Southern Island off the coast of South Carolina!
A Bicycle Tour through Sea Pines Resort
As inviting as the colorful kayaks and standup paddleboards at the beach look, I decided to explore the island by bike. Hilton Head is an award-winning biking paradise with more than 160 kilometers of bike trails, quite impressive for an island that is only 19 kilometers long by 8 kilometers wide.
Harbour Town is part of the Sea Pines Resort, whose houses and condos are all painted in warm, earthy colours and perfectly blend with the surrounding nature. Soon, I am surrounded by a dense forest and ride along the beautifully located Harbour Town Golf Links course. Hilton Head Island has been known to be a golfing paradise for a while and is home for world-renowned championship golf courses. As I ride along, I catch more views of the bright and glistening ocean.
At the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, I park my bike and decide to walk for a while. Among old rice fields, swamps and little lakes, this nature preserve offers a window onto the fascinating wildlife of the island, including alligators and migratory birds who use this preserve as a refuge.
Bicycling Along the Beach and Old Plantations
Hundreds of years ago, many of these landscapes that I encounter during my tour were rice or cotton plantations. The tradition and history of the descendents of former slaves, known as the Gullah Geechee, is still very alive on the island and is preserved at the Gullah Little House Museum.
As I continued my tour north through the Shipyard Plantation, I rested for a while to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. This part of the island is covered by a mix of cypress forests, old live oak trees and towering palm trees and exudes calm. Here on Hilton Head Island, you can reach everything by bike, even the beaches, so I continued to bike along the beach in Coligny Beach Park.
Tired from my tour, I decided to return the bike to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon on the beach. In the evening, I went to a nice Mexican restaurant and enjoyed the rest of the day with some tacos and a Mexican beer, thinking of my great day and my relaxing bike tour across this beautiful island.