The Best Parks In Hilton Head Island, SC

We visited and list out all 27 of the best parks to visit while you are in Hilton Head Island!

In addition to Hilton Head’s incredible beaches you can find plenty of family-friendly parks all around the island.

Years ago, the town of Hilton Head started buying vacant land to preserve as much of the island’s green space as possible. The town has developed over 20 permanent community parks, all of which serve a variety of recreational purposes from playgrounds and beaches to sports fields and historical nature trails. Let’s take a look.

1. Alder Lane Beach Access – Beach Park

Maintained by the town of Hilton Head Island, Alder Lane Beach Access provides convenient wheelchair-friendly beach access, metered parking spaces, restroom and shower facilities, and a life guarded swimming area (summer). Additionally, it’s a nice quiet getaway from the more popular and crowded beaches in the area.

The sand is white, clean, and hard-packed, making it ideal for building sandcastles. During the turtle season, you will find marked turtle nests. If you want a cocktail or beer, the Marriott Grand Ocean Resort provides access to its beachside bar and restaurant.

Good news for dog owners: pets are allowed anytime in the off season (from October to April) and also before 10am and after 5pm during the official beach season (from April to September). Just make sure your dog is leashed.

Alder Lane Beach Access
2 Woodward Avenue
Hilton Head, SC 29928

2. Barker Field – Sports Park

Located off Beach City Road, Barker Field features sports fields, a playground, boardwalk, and an observation deck. Offering three baseball fields and multi-purpose fields, the recreational park is a great place to toss the ball around.

Barker Field is located next to Mitchelville Beach and is a great post-beach spot for a picnic. There is a long boardwalk that stretches over a marshland leading to the beach. Once you reach the end of the boardwalk you’ll find an expansive view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Barker Field
70 Baygall Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

3. Betsy Jukofsky Xeriscape Garden – Mini Park

Named for a former reporter with The Island Packet, she was instrumental in planning, developing and planting this garden.

It offers principles on how to cultivate a garden while conserving water (xeriscape). The park has an easy path to follow with signs identifying the plants and water-saving ideas along the way. Located next to Town Hall.

Betsy Jukofsky Xeriscape Garden
1 Town Center Court
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

4. Bristol Sports Arena – Sports Park

If you’re a family of sports enthusiasts, the Bristol Sports Arena is the perfect spot to exercise your athleticism. There’s a skate park for any skateboarders in your family, as well as a multi-purpose rink for skating or roller hockey. The arena also features fields for playing baseball and soccer and also basketball courts. For the younger kids in your family, there’s also a fun playground.

Bristol Sports Arena
4 Helmsman Way
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

5. Burkes Beach Access – Beach Park

Burkes Beach is a nice place to catch a reprieve from large crowds while soaking up the sun or riding some waves. Unlike most of the beaches at Hilton Head that are known for small waves, Burkes Beach offers the occasional large wave for those interested in short boarding.

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Burkes Beach is located next to Chaplin Community Park, so you can go for a full day and enjoy tennis, playground, hiking trails, and more. There are outdoor showers to rinse off, but the restrooms are located in Chaplin Community Park. Dogs are allowed prior to 10am and after 5pm. There is also a fenced dog park nearby.

Burkes Beach Access
60 Burkes Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

6. Chaplin Community Park – Recreational Park

Chaplin Community Park is a huge recreational facility with basketball and tennis courts, walking trails, multi-purpose playing fields, a picnic pavilion, a playground and an off-the-leash dog park. It also has a nice sandy trail leading to Burkes Beach. As you walk along the trail you’ll cross a footbridge over a tidal creek. At high tide, you might see locals trying to catch blue crabs in the creek using the old chicken neck on a string.

Kids will enjoy the large playground complete with a ship, multiple slides, and jungle gym ladders. The entire playground floor is covered with soft wood chips, so kids can run around comfortably. The pavilion picnic area is an excellent place to sit down for a meal as a family.

Chaplin Community Park
11 Castnet Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

7. Coligny Beach Park – Beach Park

One of the most popular places on Hilton Head Island, Coligny Beach Park, is an oceanside park with beach access. There are walking and biking paths, gazebos, swings, restroom and shower facilities, seasonal beach rentals, and lifeguards. On one hand, it’s a beautiful and convenient place for family visitors. On the other hand, it gets really crowded in the high season.

If you need to buy some food, drinks, or souvenirs, everything is close! Just across the street from the park there is Coligny Plaza where you will find all kinds of shops and restaurants.

Coligny Beach Park is also great for biking; there are biking paths, racks, and bike rentals.

Coligny Beach Park
1 Coligny Circle
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

8. Compass Rose Park – Mini Park

Offers a beautiful reflecting pool, covered sitting area with gorgeous fountain view, a covered pavilion with grass area, walking paths, history posters, and a statue of the modern day founder of Hilton Head Island, Charles Fraser….walking an alligator. Don’t miss the granite compass that actually spins.

Compass Rose Park
4 St. Augustine Place
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

9. Cordillo Tennis Courts – Sports Park

The Cordillo Tennis Courts are located on the south end of Hilton Head Island off Pope Avenue. The four unlighted courts were refurbished in 2019 and are also lined for pickleball. The courts are available for daily play. A project is underway to add a new restroom and storage building with a small covered porch.

Cordillo Tennis Courts
2 South Forest Beach Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

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10. Cross Island Boat Landing – Special Use Park

The Cross Island Boat Landing is located underneath the Cross Island Bridge and provides access to Broad Creek near its mouth into Calibogue Sound. It is primarily geared toward launching motorized watercraft, but it also has a small floating dock that can be used for launching kayaks. There’s a lot of boat traffic immediately surrounding the landing, but once you’ve gotten some distance you have all of Broad Creek to explore unhindered.

Cross Island Boat Landing
68 Helmsman Way
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

11. Crossings Park – Sports Park

Crossings Park was one of the first recreational parks on the island. It’s one of the biggest parks (80+acres) with plenty of land and trails to explore, and a popular spot for activity year round with three baseball fields, a concession stand plaza, open meadow, playground, and sports arena nearby.

Crossings Park
4 Haig Point Circle
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

12. Driessen Beach Park – Beach Park

Although a little difficult to find, the scenic Driessen Beach is a favorite spot among Hilton Head Island regulars since it rarely gets crowded and offers convenient beach access, cheap and ample parking, as well as numerous beachside amenities. In this well-maintained park, everyone in your family will feel comfortable and entertained.

In addition to good swimming and sunbathing conditions, Driessen Beach offers plenty of shaded areas to roam, a picnic area with grills, and a playground for the little ones.

The beach is exceptionally wide so there is enough space for plenty of beachgoers. If you need beach chairs and umbrellas there are seasonal beach rentals for an hourly or daily fee. There are walking trails running through a shaded wooded area covered with live oaks, cedars, and pines.

Driessen Beach Park
64 Bradley Beach Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

13. Fish Haul Beach Park – Beach Park

If you’re a regular summer visitor to Hilton Head Island you’re probably familiar with the resort’s most popular beach parks: Coligny, Folly Field, Driessen. But there is one overlooked park offering a totally different beach experience.

Fish Haul Beach Park isn’t well known because it’s on Port Royal Sound and isn’t really a swimming beach. And that’s what makes it so special. You’re not going to find a shoreline filled with beach umbrellas and chairs….just wide open sand and nature.

The beach has restrooms and rinse showers. There is a small picnic area with tables. Be aware that there are no vendors or cafes so bring your own snacks and drinks.

Fish Haul Beach Park has more of a state park feel and the place is really good for strolling, meditating, reading, picnicking, and wildlife watching. There is often quite a variety of shells and shark teeth to collect, so if you have kids (or like shelling yourself) this is a great option to diversify your day on the beach.

Fish Haul Beach Park is absolutely dog friendly (dogs can run free) but don’t forget to bring a doggy bag and pick up after your pet.

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Fish Haul Beach Park
120 Mitchellville Road
Hilton Head Island, Sc 29928

14. Folly Field Beach – Beach Park

Folly Field Beach is known as the “locals beach” and offers public beach access with bathrooms, parking, and showers to rinse off the sand after a long day at the beach.

The beach is long and spacious with beautiful white sand. There may be plenty of people, but still there is plenty of space. Bad news for shell collectors: there are hardly any shells, even at low tide.

There are seasonal umbrella and beach chair rentals. The water at this beach is not as clear as other beaches on the island but it’s clean and usually calm.

The beach is also popular with fishermen. You can catch whiting, blacktips, sting rays, etc. The best time to go fishing is in the evening when the tide is coming and bringing fish. Dogs are allowed prior to 10am and after 5pm.

Folly Field Beach
55 Starfish Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

15. Green Shell Park – Neighborhood Park

Green Shell Park is a great neighborhood park. Located on Squire Pope Road, this park provides a picnic pavilion, basketball court, playground, restroom facilities, and small parking areas scattered among impressive nature trees. It is located along Skull Creek and features views of the Pinckney National Wildlife Refuge. Look out over the observation deck to a wetland and marsh area. It’s a great spot to view local birds and other flora and fauna.

The park is also an archaeological site dating back to 1335 AD. An earthen and oyster ground feature marks the fortified wall of an Indian village. It is the only feature of this type known in South Carolina.

Green Shell Park
99 Square Pope Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

16. Hilton Head Park – Neighborhood Park

Jointly owned by the Town of Hilton Head Island and Beaufort County, Hilton Head Park (also known as Old Schoolhouse Park) is located on the north end of the island. This small neighborhood park borders a tidal marsh and features tennis courts that are also lined for pickleball, a basketball pad, open fields that can be used for soccer or football practice, and a parking lot.

Hilton Head Park
152 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

17. Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park – Historic Park

Historic Freedom Park commemorates the first pre-Civil War settlement for black slaves who escaped nearby plantations. These new citizens built homes, elected their own officials, developed laws, developed an economy, and implemented mandatory education for their children.

The park provides educational and historical interpretation related to the Reconstruction Era, 1861-1900. A portion of the original Mitchellville site has been protected and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can come to Freedom Park and experience exhibits that show how this town once existed and prospered.

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park
229 Beach City Road
Hilton Head Island, Sc 29926

18. Honey Horn – Special Use Park

Located right off William Hilton Parkway, Honey Horn is home to the Coastal Discovery Museum. The Coastal Discovery Museum provides educational exhibits and programs about the environment, culture, and history of the Lowcountry. Honey Horn was a 68-acre plantation and is surrounded by salt marshes, open fields, and centuries-old oak trees, not to mention some of the oldest buildings to exist on Hilton Head Island. The Coastal Discovery Museum is a must-see for island visitors, and Honey Horn is the amazing host site for the Annual Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance as well as several other festivals throughout the year.

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Honey Horn
70 Honey Horn Plantation Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

19. Island Recreation Center – Community Center

The Island Recreation Center is a comprehensive facility serving all age groups through a variety of programs. The facility includes a double gymnasium, walking track, wellness center, outdoor pool, basketball courts, playground, and community rooms. It is adjacent to Hilton Head Island High School and near the island’s elementary and middle schools allowing easy access for youth participants.

Island Recreation Center
20 Wilborn Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

20. Islanders Beach Park – Beach Park

Islanders Beach Park is a great place to bring your family and friends. It boasts convenient beach access, seasonal lifeguards, clean restroom and shower facilities, and a nice picnic area.

The atmosphere on the beach is inviting and relaxing. The beach is really quiet in the morning but gets more crowded during the day. Weekends are busier, but still not overcrowded. There are no beach restaurants so bring your own food.

If you like picnics there is a sheltered picnic pavilion with tables and benches. Grills are also provided. If you have kids, they will be happy to explore the park’s large playground area

The beach is located behind a well preserved dune line. The sand is white, soft and has plenty of shells. During low tide, the beach gets very wide and there is enough room for all the families that come here. There are seasonal chair and umbrella rentals. The beach is dog friendly.

Islanders Beach Park
94 Folly Field Road
Hilton Head, SC 29928

21. Jarvis Creek Park – Community Park

Jarvis Creek Park is the perfect place to plan an adventure for the whole family. There is a fishing pier, a fitness trail to walk or run, a playground for the kids, and plenty of open space to toss a ball or frisbee around. BBQ grills and picnic pavilions.

Jarvis Creek Park
100 Jarvis Park Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

22. Lowcountry Celebration Park – Regional Park

Situated on a 10-acre site near the Coligny Beach parking lot, the park provides several recreational activities, amenities, and scenic views.

Set sail on the 1,400 square foot ship that mimics the Adventure, the ship of Captain William Hilton (for whom Hilton Head is named). Playground climbs inside and outside of the ship deliver challenges and fun for kids of all ages.

The park features two fitness stations, an open pavilion and lawn for events, the Sandbox Children’s Museum, playground, and wading pool. Restroom facilities and parking located on site.

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Lowcountry Celebration Park
94 Pope Avenue
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

23. Marshland Road Boat Landing – Special Use

Situated on a 10-acre site near the Coligny Beach parking lot, the park provides several recreational activities, amenities, and scenic views.

Set sail on the 1,400 square foot ship that mimics the Adventure, the ship of Captain William Hilton (for whom Hilton Head is named). Playground climbs inside and outside of the ship deliver challenges and fun for kids of all ages.

The park features two fitness stations, an open pavilion and lawn for events, the Sandbox Children’s Museum, playground, and wading pool. Restroom facilities and parking located on site.

Marshland Boat Landing
97 Marshland Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

24. Old House Creek Dock – Special Use

Old House Creek fishing pier has parking for about 6 vehicles. Crabbing and fishing are popular activities at this location. There is an extensive boardwalk over the salt marshes. Bring a chair, a picnic, and pack your fishing gear to enjoy this beautiful spot of solitude.

Old House Creek Dock
50 Sterling Point Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

25. Rowing and Sailing Center at Squire Pope Community Park – Community Park

The Rowing and Sailing Center at Squire Pope Community Park opened in 2014 and is home to an immense floating dock geared toward launching your next paddle. The dock sits in a sheltered area of Skull Creek making it perfect for kayaking.

The dock at Squire Pope prohibits motorized vehicles of any kind making it extremely kayak friendly. Whatever direction you head, you will enjoy world class kayaking.

It is open to the public at all times but rowing and sailing clubs do use the dock so you may encounter them from time to time.

The park features a fishing pier with an ADA accessible kayak launch, fire pit, playground, and restroom building. Picnic tables and grills are available in shaded areas and beneath the pavilion.

Rowing & Sailing Center at Squire Pope Community Park
133 Squire Pope Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

26. Shelter Cove Community Park – Community Park

This is the newest addition to the island and a stellar one at that. The new Shelter Cove Community Park is 5 acres and offers a multitude of activities. There are festivals and events planned all year round, a playground with beautiful replicas of native sea life, a performance pavilion, picnic area, public art, and a nice boardwalk with views of Broad Creek. There are also all sorts of restaurants and shops across the street.

Shelter Cove Community Park
39 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

27. Veterans Memorial at Shelter Cove Community Park – Neighborhood Park

The Veteran’s Memorial is a tribute to the fallen and missing soldiers involved in past wars. The monument sits along Broad Creek marsh at Shelter Cove Community Park, providing a pristine view. There is a stone monument honoring veterans of American military service in the middle of the park, along with benches for viewing and reflection.

Veterans Memorial at Shelter Cove Community Park
59 Shelter Cove Lane
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Blair Witkowski
Author: Blair Witkowski

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