Bike Info and Rules of Hilton Head Island

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The Town of Hilton Head Island has 64 miles of public pathways with beach access for shoreline riding. Within developments, there are over 50 miles of paved roads for your enjoyment (some required a cost to get in). Whether your riding to find things to do, heading to the beach, or looking for a place to eat; you’re able to get there via bike.

Basic bike rules

  • Be courteous, alert, and predictable.
  • Wear a helmet (not written in law, but highly encouraged).
  • Follow all traffic signals, stop signs, and pathway markings for bikes.
  • Travel in a single file on the pathways.
  • Travel at a safe speed on the pathways.
  • If you need to stop on your bike, move off the path so others can pass freely.
  • If riding on the road, bikes ride on the right side with traffic and obey all traffic laws.
  • Make eye contact with motorists so you know they see you.
  • If riding at night, bicycles must have a red rear reflector and a headlight (also wear light-colored clothing).
  • Use a bike bell or your voice to alert someone that you’re approaching from behind.
  • Always pass on the left.
  • Assume motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians don’t see you.
  • Use hand signals to communicate what you plan to do and where you are going.

Hilton Head is a Gold-level bike community

The League of American Bicyclists formally recognized 450 communities across all 50 states as bicycle-friendly communities for “providing safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists and encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation.”

Hilton Head Island, SC, is one of 31 communities to be recognized as a Gold-level recipient (since May 2018). There are only five communities at Platinum-level that rank higher.

Tips for riding bikes around the island

Ride on any of the sidewalks or “leisure paths” around the island to get around. Stay off the main road as much as possible for the safety of you as a rider. Take note of the many driveways and intersections along the leisure path.

Follow all leisure bike path rules and walk bikes across intersections according to traffic lights. If approaching bikers or pedestrians from behind, ring a bell or say “on your left,” so they know to move over.

Utilize the 30 map kiosks around the island to help you get where you’re going (a map is below).

Ride on the beach (if your bike rental agency allows it) at any of the beach access points. Note, however, that it’s not best to ride in the water — stay on the hard-packed sand during low tide.

Popular bikes around the island are regular bikes, kiddie bikes, tandem bikes (two bikes together), ally cats (an adult bike with a place for a child to ride), kiddie carts (a child seat attachment to adult bikes), and electric bikes. Many bike rentals come with a basket and lock. Secure it at any of the 10,000 bike racks around the island.

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