Biking on Kiawah Island

biking on kiawah island
Kiawah is a large island with a lot to see, making it impossible to experience everything just by car.  The best way to see Kiawah and its entire beauty is by riding on a bicycle.  With 30 miles of bike trails and over ten miles of beach to ride on, there is a lot one can discover while enjoying riding a bike around Kiawah Island.  You can rent a bicycle by placing a delivery, or picking it up on spot at the Nature center located in Night Heron park as well as the bike pavilion located in the Sanctuary parking lot.  Here is a list of ten of the most popular routes and sites to see on bicycle.

1)  A popular ride that gets to see a little of everything is the route around night heron park. Take the bike trails starting at Sea Forest Dr. around East Beach and Night Heron and you will be able to see a great sample of the Kiawah wildlife. Some animals you might see are Alligators in the ponds and many beautiful birds.  Stop by the park and enjoy lunch at the Night Heron Bar and grill located next to the nature center and the two pools.

View from Mingo Point
View from Mingo Point

2)  Driving into Kiawah you may have seen the sign just before the gate for Mingo Point.  But by taking a bicycle on the trails that lead into there, one will be able to experience a great spot for a picnic and an awesome place to relax in the chairs of the swings with a beautiful view of the Lowcountry wetlands.  On Monday night Mingo Point is host to an oyster roast and cookout that is definitely worth the ride there.

3)  You can ride your bike on beach here in Kiawah and by riding to the very front of the island you will run into a spectacular sight. One of the most amazing sights one can see here in Kiawah are the dolphins strand feeding at Captain Sam’s Inlet.  This is where the river meets the Ocean and an extremely popular spot for Dolphins to feed in groups chasing fish, often times beaching themselves for a bit.  Riding a bike here on the beach is a must and taking the ride to Captain Sam’s Inlet is highly recommended.

Strand feeding photo

4)  By riding your bike all the way down Kiawah Island Parkway, through the Vanderhorst gate you will run into Rhett’s Bluff.  This area is full of beautiful scenery including spectacular marsh views and also the Bass Pond. 5)  Though the Osprey Point golf course is temporarily closed, Cherrywood Barbeque is still open in the clubhouse and an excellent place to ride your bikes and grab a bite to eat. From the back porch you will have a view that overlooks a pond that is home to the highest percentage of alligators in Kiawah. You are virtually guaranteed to see at least one alligator there, but don’t worry, from a safe distance away.

5) Located slightly off of the island, Freshfield Village is the main shopping area of both Kiawah and Seabrook.  From the island you can take a bike trail the whole way to the village and is an extremely popular bicycling destination. Don’t forget to rent a basket for your bikes as well to carry your newly purchased belongings back to the island!

View from Marsh Tower behind No. 6 at Cougar Point
View from Marsh Tower behind No. 6 at Cougar Point

6) Scattered throughout the island are hidden watch towers over 30 feet tall which offer views you can’t get anywhere else.  By taking the bike trails, you can ride straight to the towers in places where cars are not allowed.  They are located on Marsh Hawk lane, near Cougar Point hole number 6, and in the Marsh island park.  By bicycling here, you will leave Kiawah with the best pictures being taken from these towers.

7) Every guest of Kiawah must not leave the island without stopping by the Straw Market located in West Beach Village.  The bike trails will lead you straight to the Market where you must try the ice cream of Inn Side Scoop.  This will be some of the best ice cream you will have ever tasted. Also in the Straw Market are a couple of shops and the restaurant Southern Kitchen which makes very good food, especially their breakfast and lunch.  Make sure at some point during your stay to ride your bikes down to West Beach and visit the straw market.

Inn Side Scoop in West Beach Straw Market
Inn Side Scoop in West Beach Straw Market

8) Staying in Kiawah, I’m sure that you have heard people talk about the famous Ocean Course.  Well you can ride your bikes to the clubhouse and along the way pass some beautiful architecture and also nature.  When you arrive there make sure that you take pictures, then head inside and grab lunch at the Ryder cup bar.  Relax on the back porch a bit and take in the scenery of the ocean, golf course, and sand dunes before continuing your bike ride.

The absolute best way to see the whole island is to explore on your bicycle.  Make sure to take a map with you and turn down paths that you haven’t explored yet and see what waits. The hard packed sand on the beach makes it ideal for bike riding conditions and you can pick a direction then just ride.  Whether it is for simply a way of transportation, for exercise, or sightseeing, you’re Kiawah experience isn’t complete until you have a bicycle.