GET OUT THERE: 6 OUTDOOR ADVENTURES YOU HAVE TO TRY
In the ordinary run of things, when we talk about the end of winter and the beginning of spring in the Lowcountry, we do so with tongue planted firmly in cheek. After all, this is the subtropics. What winter do we have to complain about?
This year was not the ordinary run of things. For crying out loud, it snowed. Like, actual snow that didn’t come from a machine.
What we’re getting at is that this winter was exceptionally brutal, and as such there’s never been a greater reason to celebrate the birth of spring. If your cabin fever has you itching to get out there and drink deep the sweet nectar of the season, here are a few suggestions.
Rock Your Own Private Island
The beauty of the Lowcountry is never more pristine than it is on the water, in the gentle currents of tidal streams and serpentine rivers that flow through fields of marsh grass. Those looking for that deep connection to our area’s ecosystem will find it on Page Island, the private island owned by Outside Hilton Head.
Here, just across the river from Daufuskie Island, you’ll find the Lowcountry as it once was — surrounded by nothing but the trees, marshes and waterways on all sides. Take it all in from the seat of a kayak, or bring the whole group out for a family outing or a few exercises on the challenge courses.
For more information, go to www.pageisland.com.
Camp on the Beach
Although it took a hard hit after Hurricane Matthew, Hunting Island State Park is back in a big way, offering one of the few places you can stake down your tent right on the beach.
While the beach spots generally favor those in campervans, there are a few great spots right on the sand for tents. But then you’d be missing out on some of the spacious tent spots toward the back of the park, set among the miles of hiking trails and lush natural forests.
And of course, no trip to Hunting Island would be complete without a trip up the 167 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
For more information, go to www.southcarolinaparks.com/hunting-island.
Get Elevated With Your Friends
Set among the treetops of Broad Creek, ZipLine Hilton Head / Aerial Adventure offers two distinctly different high-altitude experiences.
ZipLine Hilton Head is the more relaxed way to take in the scenery, with a two-hour tour halfway to heaven (OK, 75 feet up) along eight ziplines. Aerial Adventure tests your vertigo with six adventure courses for all skill levels as you flit from zipline to zipline.
For more information, go to www.ziplinehiltonhead.com.
The gentle waters of the Lowcountry provide the perfect environment for standup paddle boarding, which combines a calorie-shredding core workout with the kind of majestic scenery Instagram likes are made of.
Make your new profile pic pop with a shot of you paddling out next to a pod of dolphins with one of the many standup paddle board tour operators that call Hilton Head home. Even if you’ve never paddled so much as a rowboat, you’ll find a tour that works for you.
To book a tour, go to www.standandpaddle.com.
As a Gold Level Bike Friendly Community, you’d imagine there are a few different ways to get on your bike and ride. And you’d be correct.
Start with the famed pathway system that crisscrosses Hilton Head Island. Some 60 miles of paths cover the island, providing connections to a further 50. And the hard-packed sand of our beaches at low tide makes for some of the best beach riding in the world.
One of the great places locally to commune with nature at 14 miles an hour is Pinckney Island, where there are several options where trails can take you. The loop up to Dick Point is a brisk 7.4 miles around a gorgeous pond, while the long stretch up to White Point lets you ride the length of the island, 7.8 miles.
With the weather still not quite back up to summer’s blistering temps, there’s still time to get out there and enjoy some nice clear sight fishing before the algae blooms back up. Head out to some of our local water’ flats and you’ll find redfish by the hundreds, or you can head out to a few of the wrecks off shore and pull in some sheepshead.
You’ll either come back with plenty of good eating or you’ll come back having spent a day enjoying the gentle waves of our area’s waterways. That’s pretty much the definition of a win/win.