One of the…..
…..wonderful things about the beaches along our Carolina shore is the wide, flat shoreline at low tide. This creates the perfect environment for biking the beach. We’ve biked the beaches from Oak Island down to Huntington Beach at one time or another but our favorite continues to be Sunset Beach for a couple reasons:
- Sunset Beach has by far the widest beach strand at low tide of virtually all the beaches along both the North & South Carolina shorelines. Part of the reason for this is the fact that Sunset Beach is one of the very few beaches that actually accretes sand, meaning it’s shoreline expands, rather than contracts. (Of course Hurricane Matthew tried to have something to say about that) Hundreds of yards of former beachfront property has been turned into marshland and maritime forest over the last 50 years. On neighboring islands you’ll see the tides taking over the oceanfront homes rather than separating them from the shoreline.
- Sunset Beach has thousands of acres of untouched and mostly protected dunes, marshes and maritime forest. A good portion of this area is accessible by foot for the public to explore and enjoy! From the map below you’ll be able to see just how far into the Island you can explore.
If you’ve never biked the beaches, it’s a blast and it’s not very difficult at all….as long as you have the proper equipment. There are a number of bike rental shops around who will set you up with the right stuff! We use Sun Cruiser 3 speed alloy bikes which are a great choice for the beaches as well as the roads. They are lightweight and have limited steel to protect from the salt and sand. You can find them for sale or rent at Island Hoppers or many other local bike shops.
The tides and weather were perfect the other day for a beautiful ride along the beach. Our intention was to ride down towards the jetty and stop off for a hike on the new nature trail. This is the perfect time of year for the trail since the bugs are sleeping and won’t try to carry you away! If you’re not familiar with the trail, the map below will give you a great idea of exactly where it is and where it will take you. The trail begins just before the Kindred Spirit Mailbox and is easy to find now since the sign that was lost to Hurricane Matthew has been recently replaced.
Here you can see the map of our route that began at the main parking area at the beach entrance, continued down to the trail and then on to the jetty and back to the parking lot.