About Bald Head Island

Bald Head Island is a unique barrier island community where we strive to live in harmony with nature. This fragile barrier island contains four ecosystems comprised of beachfront, dune ridge, maritime forest, and the marsh.   As a community, we strive to live in harmony with each other and our island visitors, respecting the land and our way of life. This is a secluded island where each person must take responsibility for their own well-being.  We encourage you to enjoy your time here.  Be a part of a special place!

Your safety is important!


  • Always call 911. Let us come to you. Tell the operator that you are on Bald Head Island.
  • Public Safety Officers are trained in Police, Fire, EMT/Paramedic, and Water Rescue response and are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Use 911 for non-emergencies requiring a public safety response.
  • An island medical clinic is open Memorial Day through Labor Day,
    5 days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


  • Know your street address in addition to your house name.
  • No fireworks. The possession and use of fireworks are prohibited on Bald Head Island. 
  • Monitor open flames of candles and cigarettes.
  • Extinguish and dispose of cigarettes properly (pick up a FREE pocket ashtray at Village Hall).


  • Licensed drivers only.
  • No driving while impaired and no open containers allowed.
  • All traffic laws strictly enforced; top speed is 18 mph
  • Approach and pass bicyclists with caution.


  • Use only designated beach accesses. Stay off dunes ($500 fine).
  • Walking on stabilized sand groins and rock jetties is prohibited.
  • Leave the beach as you found it. Remove furnishings and fill in holes.
  • Beach bonfires are by permit-only for non-commercial entities between November 16 – April 30. Extinguish all embers, clear all debris and fill all holes.


  • Swim at your own risk. There are no lifeguards.
  • Know how to swim out of an undertow.
  • Be aware of rip currents.
  • Note beach access number for emergency response. Call 911 for emergencies.
  • Avoid swimming near shoals and channels.


  • Helmets are required for those under the age of 16.
  • Ride bicycles with the traffic; walk against the traffic.
  • Bicyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as other vehicles (Stay to the Right).


  • Any dog on the beach from sunset to sunrise every day during Turtle Season (May through November) must be leashed.
  • Pick up after your dog.  Public accesses are supplied with bags to assist with the appropriate disposal of waste. 
  • Place IDs on all pets.


  • Do not feed, approach, or harass alligators ($500 fine) or any other wildlife. 
  • Never approach a sea turtle (up to a $100,000 fine).
  • Report unusual animal behavior to 911.
  • Fishing is prohibited in all ponds and lagoons on the island.
  • Acquire a saltwater fishing license before fishing in marsh or ocean. (http://www.ncwildlife.org/)

PDF Version of this information (to print in color) HERE.
PDF Version of this information (to print in black & white) HERE.