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Outdoor Activities

Hilton Head Island is a Lowcountry member of the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. A string of barrier islands dotting the Southeast, the Sea Islands are home to a variety of flora, fauna, and human history that is worth exploring. 

If you are excited about touring the Hilton Head Island Nature reserves, read our blog for some of our favorites and how you can pack for the various day trips. 

The 5 Best Hilton Head Island Natural Reserves 

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Who is it for? 

Sea Pines Forest Preserve is great for history buffs and nature lovers. 

What is there to know about Sea Pines? 

The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a protected wildlife habitat that has everything from bridle paths, wetland boardwalks, bridges, and fishing docks. Established in the 1970s, Sea Pines Forest Preserve has expanded over the years to include the various paths, wetland boardwalks, and fishing docks you can explore today. The preserve is most famous for hosting the 4,000-year-old Sea Pines Shell Ring, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Additionally, you’ll see acres of natural landscapes, local flora and fauna, rice fields, swamps, and more. While the walking trails here are perfect for hiking, you might also like to opt for guided boat tours, horseback rides, fishing expeditions, or wagon tours. 

What do you need to pack? 

Bring your mind for history, a backpack with some water, and a good camera. 

Audubon Newhall Preserve

Who is it for? 

Bird lovers and trail walkers.

What is there to know about Audobon Newhall Preserve? 

If you consider yourself a bird-watcher, then you have to visit the Audubon Newhall Preserve. Established as a nature preserve in 1965, the 50 acres of nature are a joy to hike. Rated as an easy trek, the two-mile adventure is both free and beautiful. The trail features numerous markers highlighting local wildlife and flora such as the iconic wax myrtle. 

What do you need to pack? 

Definitely, a backpack filled with binoculars, a book or app to differentiate between different bird species, and plenty of water. 

Daufuskie Island 

Who is it for? 

Nature and horseback riding fans. 

What is there to know about Daufuskie Island? 

Only accessible by water taxi or ferry, Daufuskie Island has been purposely left mostly untouched by human civilization. Home to around 400 full-time residents and zero cars, the entire island is registered as historic preservation. 

Daufuskie Island has the only beach where you can ride on horseback and is known for its rich natural preservation and Gullah history. 

What should you bring? 

It depends on what you are going to Daufuskie for. Horseback riding companies will usually let you keep your belongings at their stables, but you are limited by what you can bring on the ferry. 

Coligny Beach Park

Who is it for? 


What is there to know about Coligny Beach Park?

While it is the definition of a "tourist trap," Coligny Beach Park is one of the best beach parks on the island. A simple mix of good parking, beach access point, and a place to play with the dogs make it a great place to to take the kids and everyone else in your family. 

How should I pack? 

Like you would for a normal beach trip nothing special is needed. 

Mitchelville Freedom Park 

Who is it for? 

History buffs. 

What is there to know about Mitchelville Freedom Park? 

Mitchelville Beach Park is a local favorite. It’s considered to be one of the most natural beaches on the island. The surrounding area is known as Mitchelville Freedom Park and it is home to a Civil War-era earthworks fort and city of freed slaves that lasted until the 1900s. A great place for a walk through literal history, Mitchelville is a must-see for all fans of Civil War and Reconstruction era history. 

What should I bring? 

A camera to capture the history, and something to take notes if that is more your style. 

A Local Vacation Rental 

Exploring the nature preserves on Hilton Head Island is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. Maybe you’re planning to spend all your days on the beach. Perhaps you’re looking to get out and explore the rest of the island. Either way, you’ll find so many fun things to do that the whole family can enjoy. Stay near the best attractions, on beautiful beaches, and in some of the island’s top-rated communities when you stay with Beach Properties


Larger families can find refuge in one of our bigger beachfront homes. Smaller groups might prefer a cozy, luxury condo overlooking the water. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly accommodations, homes with a private pool, or properties with enough room to house your family reunion, rest assured that you’ll find just what you need! We go above and beyond to ensure that your dream vacation becomes a reality. 

Are you ready to plan your beach getaway?

Then, start looking for your dream vacation home!