Palmetto Dunes Lagoon Paddling

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Summary

There are 11 miles of creeks that make up the lagoon system, all managed by the original tidal gates installed over 30 years ago. The gates control water levels and flow of the lagoon, so no matter where you are the water is always calm and at its optimum height.

Written by

Logan Waddell

Destination Distance From Downtown

2.5 miles

Difficulty

1 of 5 diamonds

Land Website

Link to Website

Review

Palmetto Dunes is one of the many developments on Hilton Head Island. Upon entering the community from William Hilton Parkway, you’ll notice it’s set up as a small community with a general store, outfitter, and a few other stores where visitors can pick up various vacation-themed odds and ends or groceries. The lagoon that Palmetto Dunes is notorious for was created in the seventies by Dutch engineer Dr. Per Bruun. This lagoon was first and foremost designed and created to preserve the 3 mile stretch of beach in front of Palmetto Dunes, which until the creation of the lagoon could not be enjoyed. Bruun designed a lagoon system that would help manage the tides in ways both beneficial to the development as well as the ecosystem that was there before it, and now it is referred to as one of the best paddling routes on the island

What Makes it Great There are 11 miles of creeks that make up the lagoon system, all managed by the original tidal gates installed over 30 years ago. The gates control water levels and flow of the lagoon, so no matter where you are the water is always calm and at its optimum height. This is an awesome place to paddle because of it’s many different routes, some of which lead you around Palmetto Dune’s golf courses, others leading you beneath the shade of Live Oaks with no sign of civilization in sight. Long story short, you have plenty of options when paddling through this lagoon. This is also an excellent route for beginners. The tranquil flow of the creeks, and the fact that you can pull out your boat or paddleboard nearly anywhere along the banks of the lagoon makes for a safe and predictable trip.

Who’s Going To Love It Stand up paddleboarders, canoers, and kayakers primarily dominate the lagoon system. Hilton Head Outfitters has a shop located just within Palmetto Dunes and makes it incredibly easy to rent your choice of vessel, and hit the water. You’re most definitely going to run into fellow paddlers while in the lagoon because of the popularity of this destination, and because it’s just too easy not to experience this place. The warmer months bring loads of visitors, but with 8 total miles of paddling routes, the lagoon is never too congested.

Directions, Trailhead, Regulations The entrance to Palmetto Dunes is located on William Hilton Parkway. Simply turn into the gates and drive about half a mile to Hilton Head Outfitters. Either rent one of their paddleboards, canoes, or kayaks and launch from their dock, or if you’ve brought your own boat, you can launch from beneath the bridge in between HH Outfitters and the entrance.

Location

Palmetto Dunes

6 Queens Folly Road
Hilton Head, SC, 29928
32.178228, -80.726252

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