Most residents and visitors embrace Bald Head Island’s quiet, peaceful nature. A visit here provides the perfect place and ideal time to simply unwind, release everyday stresses, and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life. So, It’s no surprise that just going with the flow is one of the top things to do on the island.
Of course, Bald Head Island’s 14 miles of beaches beckon for swimming, surfing, shelling and sunbathing, and the Bald Head Island Club and Shoals Club swimming pools and various activities are undisputed draws.
But there are also plenty of off-the-beaten-path activities and natural treasures that are hidden in plain sight that you shouldn’t miss. So whether you are a long-time property owner, a frequent visitor or a first-time vacationer, you might want to check out this list of the top 10 things you may not have done on BHI… but should!
Visit the Timmons Oak.
The crown jewel of the treasured Bald Head Woods (a protected, 173-acre maritime forest) is a massive live oak that is hundreds of years old. Her trunk has been hollowed out, creating a tree cave large enough for a child to stand inside. Be sure you have a camera along.
Circle the island on bicycle or rollerblades.
Rollerblades may have had their day in the sun, but all types of self-propelled wheels are popular modes of transportation on the island. Circumnavigating the island will get you plenty of exercise and the chance to see the island’s various environments up close.
Walk the Kent Mitchell Nature Trail.
It’s actually several trails, some of which take you through the forest and others over the marsh. Scenic and serene, the trails highlight native plants and wildlife, and they give you a very different look at the island than the beach sides.
Take lessons at All About Art.
For inspiration and appreciation, take in the lovely gallery, primarily featuring works with Bald Head Island as their subject. Then, sign up for art lessons and get your own creative juices flowing. Group and private classes are available for all ages.
Get in the games.
Trivia and Bingo nights are crowd-pleasers at Will o’ the Wisp, and it’s good fun for the entire family. Check the calendar for dates and times, and come hungry and thirsty. The menu includes specialty pizzas, beer and wine.
Climb Old Baldy at night.
Most visitors to the island have climbed the 202-year-old structure’s 108 steps by day, but doing it at night is a unique experience. This opportunity is available on summer Thursdays only, and reservations are required.
Get into the spirits at a ghost walk.
Costumed performers lead this highly entertaining adventure, and each tells a tale more fascinating than the last. You’ll encounter lighthouse keepers and Civil War soldiers, river pilots and dastardly pirates—even the fearsome Blackbeard.
Learn to shoot a bow and arrow.
If you’re looking for a new challenge, propel yourself into Archery Camp, with full instruction from a USA-certified Archery Instructor. The emphasis is on safety, and fun! Those who graduate from Archery Camp can move on to Field Archery.
Join Us for Cosmos and Cocoa.
The BHI Conservancy’s programs are so creative and stimulating, the sky is literally the limit. During Cosmos and Cocoa, your stargazing experience includes the use of charts and scopes… plus, fortification in the form of a steaming mug of hot cocoa. Doesn’t that sound heavenly?
Travel back in time with a historic tour.
Cover 400 years of island history in two hours. This in-depth, islandwide guided tour includes admission to Old Baldy Lighthouse. You’ll learn the story of the island, from piracy and its role in wartimes, to the U.S. Life-Saving Service and its various lighthouses. You’ll also learn about its development into one of the most beloved destinations on the East Coast.
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