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Things To Do

Stroll a beach. Climb a lighthouse. Walk with turtles. Kayak the marsh. Catch a fish. Dust off your clubs. Ride a bike. There's no shortage of new adventures to try, secrets to discover, or sports to enjoy on Bald Head Island. Here are a few suggestions, broken down by interest.

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FOR OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS

Explore the Beaches

Bald Head Island's beautiful East, West, and South Beaches beckon you to build sandcastles, stroll, take a swim or just unwind. With 14 miles of pristine shoreline, and dozens of public beach access points, you shouldn't have a problem finding your perfect stretch of sand.

Kayak the Creeks

Bald Head Creek is easily accessed by kayak and canoe, whether through a self-guided tour, or through a tour offered by the Bald Head Island Conservancy or the Sail Shop. Expect to see herons, egrets, ibises along the way.

Ride a Bike

Bald Head Island offers more than 15 miles of scenic roadways to explore by bike. Bike rentals by the hour, day or week are available through Coastal Urge and Riverside Adventure Company.

FOR NATURE LOVERS

Go Fish

From the shore, flounder, red drum, blue fish, mullet, pompano and more wait to be caught. On the creeks you'll find speckled trout, grey trout, flounder, red drum, blue fish and spots. Offshore fishing trips can put you on grouper, mackerel, tuna, wahoo, dolphin, tarpon and sailfish. Both the Bald Head Island Conservancy and the Sail Shop offer instruction, so if you're new to fishing or just want to know where to go, they can help put you on the fish.

Take a Hike

For a self-guided hike along the marsh, set off for the M. Kent Mitchell Nature Trail, located off Federal Road near the intersection of Muscadine Wynd. The Bald Head Woods Maritime Forest Preserve offers several trailheads along either side of Federal Road. Guided hikes are also offered by the Bald Head Island Conservancy and the Sail Shop

Walk With the Sea Turtles

Turtle Walks offered by the Bald Head Island Conservancy start around the first week of June and run through mid-September. Depending on the time of year, you might see a nesting loggerhead turtle, a nest hatching, or both.

Other programs offered by the Conservancy include birding, crabbing, cast netting, island nature tours, touch tank time, sea turtle movie screenings and more.

FOR SPORTING TYPES

Hit the Links

The golf course at the Bald Head Island Club is one of the most beautiful in the Southeast, and a recent renovation has it in its best shape ever. Golfers must have a Bald Head Island Club temporary or full membership or be the guest of a member to enjoy golf privileges. A "Stay and Play" package is also available, giving you discounted accommodations and unlimited access to the course for the length of your stay on Bald Head Island.

Take a Dip in the Pool

On Bald Head Island you'll find two excellent pools—one at the Bald Head Island Club, and one at the Shoals Club, typically open from April until October. Temporary or full membership in the Clubs is required.

Tennis Anyone?

The four courts at the Bald Head Island Club's Tennis Center are available to members and temporary members of the Club. During the summer season, daily clinics, social activities, private lessons and programs for children three and up are available with one of the United States Professional Tennis Association pros.

Try Your Hand at Croquet

The championship croquet greensward at the Bald Head Island Club regularly hosts United States Croquet Association tournaments and is the home greensward of several of the nation's top players. If you've never played or just want to hone your skills, lessons and clinics are available and can be tailored to your skill level. Temporary or full membership in the Club is required.

FOR OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS

Discover Geocaching

Want a family-friendly outdoor game that's one part treasure hunt and one part island adventure? In geocaching you use a GPS-enabled device to track down a box or "cache" hidden at a set of coordinates. Riverside Adventure Company also offers a GPS Scavenger Hunt that sends you around the island to a preprogrammed series of coordinates, with prizes awarded weekly.

Fly High on a Kiteboard

Coastal Urge's kiteboarding lessons are ideal for those new to the sport. Start with a 90-minute lesson on land, where you learn flying techniques with a trainer kite, then graduate up to lessons that will teach you to launch your board and get you on the water. All lessons include rental of required equipment.

Hang Ten

Bring your board or rent a long or short board from the Sail Shop and catch some waves on East Beach, the best spot on the island for surfing. Boogie boards are also available. If you're new to the sport, the Sail Shop's Surf Camp provides group and private instruction that will have you "dropping in" on your first lesson.

Sail Away

The Sail Shop offers lots of ways for you to enjoy the thrill of sailing during your visit. For kids, learning to sail on the creek in one of the Opti Prams will be a memory they'll never forget. Two 26' J-80 Olympic-class sailboats, Jive and Joyride, are ideal for adult instruction. Or try one of the Fun Sails where an instructor takes you and up to four others for a two-hour tour of the Cape Fear River and along South Beach.

Try Standup Paddleboarding

Standup paddleboarding (SUP) is catching on on Bald Head Island in a big way. Coastal Urge is your headquarters for all things SUP—rentals, guided excursions and instructional sessions take place at the Board Room, located in the harbor. Paddleboards are available for daily or weekly rental and Coastal Urge will deliver them to your house and provide basic instructions there.

FOR NATURE LOVERS

Climb Old Baldy and Visit the Smith Island Museum

Old Baldy, North Carolina's oldest standing lighthouse, is only a short walk from the ferry landing. Admission to the Smith Island Museum of History allows you to climb Old Baldy's 108 steps for an incomparable view of the island. While you're there, take a look at the artifacts in the Smith Island Museum and pick up a souvenir in the gift shop.

Take a Historic Island Tour

Learn about Bald Head's rich history on a Historic Tour from the Old Baldy Foundation. The tour gives you a glimpse into the history of Bald Head Island from its first appearance on maps in the 1500s to the Cape Fear Light in the 1950s to the development of the island in the 1980s. One-and-a-half hour tours originate on the island at the ferry terminal in the harbor (for on-island guests) and from Deep Point Marina (for day visitors).

Walk With Ghosts

Kid-friendly Ghost Walks are offered by Riverside Adventure Co. throughout the summer. The two-hour tours take you through more than 350 years of island history, introducing you to the tales of lighthouse keepers, life savers, pirates and river pilots that make up Bald Head Island legend.

FOR SPORTING TYPES

Day Camps

The Bald Head Island Conservancy's camps cater to kids 4-14. Preschoolers catch bugs and make crafts, elementary school age kids go kayaking, crabbing and shell collecting, and middle school aged youth get involved with the Conservancy's efforts to protect the island by collecting data and analyzing it to help further the Conservancy's research.

The Bald Head Island Club's summer camp program for children 5-12 includes weekly golf and tennis instruction, daily swimming, arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor games, team activities, movies and field trips. The Club also offers Junior Golf Camps and Junior Tennis Programs throughout the summer.

All About Art's programs are suitable for kids of all ages, including a half-day art camp. Mermaid and dragon painting classes are ideal for older children, while "precious impressionists" is geared toward younger kids. Private classes are also available

Other Fun Stuff

Riverside Adventure Company is home to the Children's Treasure Hunt, which takes kids ages 5-12 aboard the "pirate ship Lunasea" as they solve riddles, sing songs and use science and nature to piece together a map that leads to buried treasure.

The Sunset Summer Celebration happens every Wednesday evening during the summer. Festivities start at Riverside's headquarters with a DJ, juggling, puppet show and games, then move to Beach Access #5 for s'mores, storytelling, a drum circle and a beautiful sunset.

The Shoals Club Recreation Department offers a variety of family-friendly activities throughout the season including "dive-in" movies, volleyball and bocce tournaments, games around the pool and tie-dyeing T-shirts

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