Hilton Head beach laws for dogs will change soon for the spring season. Here’s what to know
Do you love bringing your pet to the beach just as much as you like to go yourself?
It’s important to be aware of the laws set in place as Hilton Head Island’s pet-specific beach rules change seasonally.
With all of the beaches that Hilton Head Island has to offer, it can be hard to pinpoint just when and where your pet is allowed.
For those who prefer to bring their four-legged friends, there’s good news! Hilton Head is a predominately pet-friendly locale. Throughout the island, dogs can be seen accompanying their human counterparts out at lunch, running errands and yes, even the beaches.
With recent temperatures warming up, it’s important to know when you can play frisbee or frolic in the waves with your special friend along one of Hilton Head Island’s renowned beaches.
The changing rules for bringing your pet onto the island’s beaches vary depending on where you are, time of year, and even the time of day.
Hilton Head Island Beaches
All beaches on Hilton Head Island are pet-friendly and public from the ocean to the high water mark. However, each beach has varying restrictions based on several factors, most significantly the time of year and day. One of these beaches even has its own separate set of regulations apart from the rest.
Although March is coming to an end, if you want to get in a last minute visit before the rules switch over, from October through March, your pet is allowed to visit the beach at any time while leashed or under voice control, according to the Town of Hilton Head Island.
What can you expect from April through September?
From April through the Thursday prior to Memorial Day, visiting animals are allowed to be on the beach between the hours of 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with leash laws still in effect. However, just voice control solely is only an option between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. during this period of time.
Then beginning on the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day, your pet will not be allowed on the beach at all between the daytime hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Afterward, they may be present while leashed or under voice control authority from 5 p.m. until 10 a.m.
As for the remainder of the year, beginning the Tuesday following Labor Day through the month of September, animals are again allowed on the beach if leashed from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and with voice control only being an option between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 a.m.
During Hilton Head Island’s “official beach season,” which annually falls on April 1 through Sept. 30, your pet is prohibited from swimming at specific designated areas between the hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The remaining hours, however, are still open for their enjoyment.
These designated swimming areas include: Alder Lane Beach Access, Driessen Beach Park, Folly Field Beach Park, Islanders Beach Park and Coligny Beach Park.
Fish Haul Beach Park
Fish Haul Beach, which overlooks Port Royal Sound, is the one beach whose rules differ from the other beaches on the island. This area is a quiet piece of paradise that sits at the north end of the island and provides guests with free parking. In addition, Fish Heal Beach Park is pet-friendly year-round with a continuing “at-all-times” leash law.
Additional Pet-Related Beach Rules To Follow
At every beach on Hilton Head Island, or really just as a common courtesy everywhere, pet owners are expected to readily pick up anything left behind by their dog — biodegradable or otherwise.
If unprepared for such an event, pet waste stations are located at any of the public access points seen when entering and exiting the beach for your benefit that provides waste baggies as well as a built-in disposal unit.
In addition, the island’s famed flora and fauna is ever-present along the coast. Shore birds tend to stay grouped together or in pairs and as tempting as it might be for your pet to run through any number of the flocks present at that time, it is illegal for them to chase, harass or pester the local wildlife in any way.
All of these rules are enforced by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department and Town code enforcement officers who patrol the beach and enforce all beach regulations. Violators of these, or any, beach regulations are subject to fines and court costs up to $1,087.50 per each offense.