Compass Rose Park


One of Hilton Head’s newest parks offers guests a serene space amid the bustling activity on the island. Its four water features create a calming oasis, even though it’s right off the popular Pope Avenue.

Compass Rose Park was designed by Edwin Byrd Drane and finished in the spring of 2008, just in time for the summer crowds. Upon entering, guests are greeted by a pavilion with “Compass Rose Park” across the top (a great place for a photo op) and a sculpture of a compass behind it. Alan Hochman designed the water and stone sculpture, “Pointing the Way,” which holds the bronze antique compass rose by Alex Sineath.

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Behind it are three fully shaded wooden pavilions, separated by a shallow pool of water with a fountain in the middle. Each contains a little bit about the history about Hilton Head, with captioned photographs hanging on the walls. There are benches, a picnic table and plenty of room to stretch at each gazebo, a great spot for a celebration or a lunch break.

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To the right of these pavilion, guests will find another piece that pays homage to the development of the island – a sculpture of Charles Fraser. The sculpture was designed after a photograph that appeared in a 1962 edition of The Saturday Evening Post and can be seen by cyclists riding by on the bike path.

cr CF 1A bit further down the path, guests will find another compass, this time, carved in granite. It’s not just a static piece of art though – the compass actually spins.

cr graniteThe largest fountain, a beautiful reflection pool, sits behind this sculpture, stretching from the gazebo area to the other end of the park, where you can find swings, shaded grass and a hidden pavilion surrounded by trees.

cr waterAnd just past the reflecting pool is an adult version of a classic swing set just with two bench swings.

cr swing 1A meandering stream leads back to the largest pavilion, hidden in the trees. A creek runs up behind the stilted pavilion in the back, so everyone can look out of the back and keep an eye out for wildlife.

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This park is located at the corner of Pope Avenue and New Orleans Road at 4 St. Augustine Place and while there is parking, it is best accessible by bike. A bike path that leads to Coligny runs right through this park and there are racks to lock up bikes on. Parking is available but space is very limited. The park also has free wifi.

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