The many waterways of the Lowcountry, from the mighty rolling waves of the Atlantic to the tranquil tidal creeks that meander among marsh grasses, make this one of the best areas in the world for boating. Whether you are putting in from the deck of an expansive yacht or a one-person kayak, there is no shortage of adventure waiting for you out on the water. For this reason, town and county leaders have been diligent in ensuring adequate access for the nautical lifestyle, with public ramps dotting our waterways around the island and beyond.
Keep your tide chart handy, your trailer hitched and prepare yourself for a day at sea with this handy guide to our area’s public ramps.
Hilton Head Island
Cross Island Boat Landing – located in the shadow of the Cross Island Bridge, this dock is completely free to public and offers ample parking for cars and trailers. Because of its position toward the delta of Broad Creek, this is the only public boat ramp on the island where boats can be launched at any tide level.
Marshland Landing – Just up Broad Creek from the Cross Island Boat Landing, Marshland Road empties onto Broad Creek from a ramp by the Old Oyster Factory. The creek is a little more shallow here, so larger boats will need to wait for high tide to launch. Kayaks and canoes can launch at any time or tide.
C.C. Haigh, Jr. Landing – Technically this ramp is located on Pinckney Island, between the bridges onto Hilton Head. A large dirt lot nearby offers plentiful parking, and boats empty right out onto Mackay Creek where dolphins are commonly spotted.
Buckingham Boat Ramp – directly across Mackay’s creek from the C.C. Haigh Jr. ramp, this landing offers slightly less parking and the orientation among tidal flats requires a thorough knowledge of the channel before launching.
H. E. Trask Senior Boat Landing – Located off of Sawmill Creek Road, this ramp takes you out onto the Colleton River on two launching lanes. Roughly 55 parking spots are available. Be warned, the waters here can get a little rough.
Alljoy Boat Landing – Located on the May River by Brighton Beach, Alljoy Boat Landing offers plentiful parking and easy access to either the May River Sandbar or the Calibogue Sound. The nearby beach does lead to heavy traffic, however, so keep an eye out for golf carts speeding by.
Bluffton Oyster Factory Park Landing – Recently updated with new decking and ramps leading down to the launch, this landing offers plenty of parking and a great place to put in for either large boats or kayaks. Be sure to check out the Garvin-Garvey House while you are there.