Visit the island’s parks

Hilton Head offers plenty for visitors to enjoy
July 26, 2023
Things To Do

Written by Dean Rowland
Photos  Town of Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island offers 23 beach parks, neighborhood parks, community parks, regional parks, sports parks and mini parks. In other words, something for every tourist and residents to enjoy.

Here’s a few of our favorites:

Lowcountry Celebration Park: Located just off Pope Avenue and minutes from Coligny Beach, the latest and most expensive park on the island opened in late 2020. This amazing park provides active and passive recreational activities, amenities, and scenic views for families and individuals, organizations and community groups.
Among the amenities are:
•  The Adventure Playground, named after the ship Captain William Hilton was on when he discovered Hilton Head Island. It features a reimagined design of the ship, playground, wading pool and more.
•  An open pavilion and lawn for events.
•  A lighted perimeter walk for an evening stroll.
•  Sculptures and fitness stations.
•  An interactive Sandbox Children’s Museum for children.

Jarvis Creek Park: This 54-acre park off U.S. 278 includes a large fishpond, picnic shelters with grills and food tables, a playground, a 1-mile walking trail, natural wildlife like birds and alligators, and lots of trees.

Chaplin Community Park

Chaplin Community Park: The island’s largest and most diverse park is located off 278 between Burkes Beach Road and Singleton Beach Road. It features a public tennis complex with six courts, basketball courts, multi-purpose fields, extensive trails, beach access and parking, playground, picnic pavilions, multiple restroom facilities, and the town’s only dog park.

Crossings Park & Bristol Sports Arena: Located at 4 Helmsman Way near the east end of the Cross Island Bridge, the sports park features a skate park and ramps, an outdoor roller hockey/basketball court, a hybrid in-line hockey rink with basketball goals and restroom facilities.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve: This local treasure of more than 600 acres is the island’s largest tract of undeveloped land. Hiking, fishing, picnicking and wildlife viewing are among the popular activities. A 3.3-mile loop takes visitors on a trail for birding and hiking and through mushy swamps on elevated boardwalks.

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park: Situated near the end of Beach City Road on the north end of the island, the park features self-guided or private tours, historic exhibits, interpretive signage, trails, beach access, and a picnic pavilion. Recognized as part of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. The tours take visitors through Mitchelville’s history, from docking slave ships to the roots of the Reconstruction era.

Shelter Cove Community Park: This park, which opened in 2015, is a public/private partnership, that features year-round festivals and events, a playground, picnic spots, a performance pavilion, walkways and spectacular water views. The Poseidon restaurant is next door, as is Shelter Cove Towne Centre.

Audubon Newhall Preserve: This well maintained 50-acre forest preserve is tucked off Palmetto Bay Road. Interconnected trails help preserve our native forest ecosystem for the benefit of its diverse ecosystem inhabitants.

The preserve has wide paths and a boardwalk that are manageable for short walks, an observation deck overlooking the pond for wildlife viewing and many benches to sit and rest. Multiple informational signs provide detailed information about the flowers, trees and plants. More than 140 species of birds have been recorded here. Guides are available.