Bald Head Island FAQs

What if there is an emergency and I need to get to the hospital?

All of the Village’s Public Safety Officers are trained in law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, AND water rescue.  They are on duty 24 hours seven days a week.  The department has two Quick Response Vehicles (QRVs) which are fully equipped and can travel quickly all over the island. At least one QRV is on patrol at all times.  Once the Village’s responders arrive at a call, they will assess the situation and determine if the next ferry needs to be commandeered for travel inland or if a medevac helicopter needs to be called.  The Village has two designated helicopter landing locations.

Regardless of the specific need, if you need a Public Safety Officer to come to you, CALL 911.  This is how our Public Safety Officers respond to ALL emergencies and calls for service. When you call, let operator know you are on Bald Head Island.  

What if I have a medical issue that is not an emergency?

Before staying on the island, visitors are encouraged to check with their medical and/or health insurance providers to see if telehealth options are available.. Galloway Sands pharmacy out of Southport delivers to the island.

Patients can also seek medical care at the on-island medical provider. Patients may also call the Urgent Care in Southport at 910-454-4732 for minor illnesses M – F, 8:00 am – 6:30 pm. For more serious emergencies, the Emergency Department at Dosher Memorial Hospital is a five-minute drive from the Bald Head Island ferry terminal in Southport.

Unfortunately, due to staffing shortages Dosher Memorial Hospital will not be operating the on-island clinic between Memorial Day and Labor Day during the 2023 season.

Can I bring my bike to get around?

YES, you will need to purchase an Over-Sized Baggage ticket at the Deep Point Marina ticket window.  This larger item will need to be taken, along with the Over-Sized Baggage ticket, to the arrivals curb where a dock attendant will take your bike and ticket.  

Are there any places to eat?

YES, please view the Island Directory for this information.  

Are there any places to shop?

YES, please view the Island Directory for this information.

Can you set off fireworks on BHI?

NO,  Village ordinance prohibits the possession and/or use of fireworks without a special permit by the county (Sec. 16-81). This includes sparklers!

Sec. 16-81. Pyrotechnics restricted.    The possession and/or use within the confines of the village of pyrotechnics by any individual except by special permit of the county is declared unlawful. Violation of this section shall be a civil violation punishable by a civil fine of $100.00. Any individual cited for violation of this section shall pay the civil penalty at the office of the village clerk within 48 hours of the issuance of the citation. In addition, violation of this section shall constitute a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00 and/or imprisonment pursuant to G.S. 14-4. Nothing in this section shall prevent the village from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.

Can dogs go on the beach?

YES, but they must be on a leash during turtle season (May 1 – November 15). You may wish to review this ordinance before bringing your dog to Bald Head Island. 

Is there a handicapped beach access?

The Village just completed a new handicapped beach access in Spring 2023. It is located at Beach Access #24A. Parking is available in the lot across the street near the corner of Muscadine Wynd and S Bald Head Wynd (see map HERE – and a slideshow HERE).  The Village also has a handicapped beach wheelchair available upon request on a first-come-first-served basis.  Contact the Public Safety Department at (910) 457-5252 for more information. 

Can you have bonfires on the beach?

It depends on the time of the year.
Between May 1 and November 15th – The director of public safety may issue up to two burn permits in a single day to commercial entities ONLY. Village ordinance prohibits the Public Safety Department from issuing open burning permits to individuals between May 1 and November 15.
Between November 16th and April 30th – Burning is allowed by permit only (Sec. 12-55 (c)).  Click HERE for more information about beach bonfire permits. Contact the Public Safety Department at (910) 457-5252 if you have any questions.

Can you have tents on the beach?

YES, but like all other equipment on the beach, it must be removed by its owner or permitted user between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. year-round.  See the Village’s beach equipment ordinance for more information. 

Can you have a wedding on the beach?

A permit is not required to have a wedding on the public beach at Bald Head Island. We ask that if you do have a wedding, you leave the beach in the condition that you found it. The Village also rents out two locations for events (off the beach), the Marina Park and Common Park which offer ideal settings for weddings and/or receptions. Click HERE for more information. 

Can kids drive golf carts on BHI?

NO, all golf carts on Bald Head Island must be driven by a licensed driver.  The rules of the road for the State of North Carolina apply to the roads on Bald Head Island, regardless of the type of vehicle.  This also includes no open alcohol containers and no driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Click HERE for some golf cart safety tips. 

Can I fly my drone at Bald Head Island?

YES, drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) are permitted provided you are abiding by the laws and regulations of the State of North Carolina and the Federal Aviation Administration.  Launching and recovery are allowed on Village property and the public beach.  We ask that if you do fly a drone you respect the privacy and tranquility of others. The most frequent complaints about drones are concerning noise and flying too low.  

Do I need a fishing license to fish at BHI?

YES, you will need a saltwater fishing license which can be purchased HERE.  Fishing is prohibited in the island’s lagoons and freshwater ponds because this is considered feeding the alligators which is prohibited. 

Is there a notary on the island?

YES, several Village employees are public notaries. Most of them work at Village Hall, so if you are looking for a notary, go to Village Hall first. There is no charge for this service if performed by a Village employee.

I’ve lost or found something, what do I do?

Found property can be turned in at the Public Safety Department (273 Edward Teach Extension). If you have lost or found an item, please contact Public Safety at (910) 457-5252.

There seems to be a lot of trucks on the island, what is the Village doing about that?

The Village has taken several measures to manage commercial use vehicles on the island. This includes adopting a ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) Transition Plan, working with contractors by educating them and imposing penalties for infractions, and planning for future development as 40% of the island’s buildable land is undeveloped. For details on these efforts, view our fact sheet HERE.

Are you allowed to scatter someone’s ashes at any of the beaches?

Federal law states that spreading ashes on the sea, which is considered a burial at sea, must be done at least three miles away from the shore. Federal law also requires that you report the burial at sea to the closest Environmental Protection Agency office within a month of the burial.