Going to Hilton Head’s most popular beach? New shuttle helps you avoid Coligny parking

Mega playground, music pavilion coming to new Hilton Head park. Check out the plans

A look at the future Lowcountry Celebration Park to be built on the southend of Hilton Head Island.
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A look at the future Lowcountry Celebration Park to be built on the southend of Hilton Head Island.

If you’ve ever found yourself in the Coligny beach parking lot on a Saturday during summer, you know the pain.

Hilton Head’s live oaks and tranquility melts away, and out-of-state cars line up to dodge pedestrians holding beach chairs, take a left turn out of the sole free parking lot in the area to empty out into the Coligny traffic circle.

This summer, the Town of Hilton Head Island has started a free shuttle on Saturdays and Sundays between the USCB campus off Pope Avenue and shuttle them down the road to Coligny Beach Park, according to a town news release.

The shuttle will run on a continuous loop from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., or what the town called “peak visitor times” at the popular beach.

parking lot
Beachgoers walk across the Coligny Beach parking lot on Hilton Head Island. Parking in the lot is currently free, but town officials are talking about the possibility of charging for beach parking across the island. File

It’s free to ride the shuttle. Service starts June 29 and runs every weekend through Labor Day, according to the news release.

“With this new service, we hope to ease traffic in the Coligny area, maximize the opportunity to provide free parking during the busy summer months, and create a safe environment for all of our visitors,” Scott Liggett, director of public projects and facilities, said in the release.

The Breeze Trolley service, which is $1 to ride, is also operating this summer. It runs from 1 to 10:30 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the trolleys run from 1 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.

Palmetto Breeze and the Town of Hilton Head Island started a trolley service in July 2018. The seasonal trolley will run April through mid-October in 2019. Here's the route.

Keep an eye out for an electronic message board announcing the overflow parking on Pope Avenue near Office Park Road, the news release said.

This summer, the 9-acre lot behind the Coligny lot that was often used for overflow parking in the past is closed as the Lowcountry Celebration Park is constructed.

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Construction fencing along Pope Avenue show where crews were working on the Lowcountry Celebration Park on Hilton Head’s south end. Town of Hilton Head Island Hilton Head Island - Coligny Area Park & Transportation Projects Facebook group

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Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.