Hunting Island State Park

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Hunting Island State Park
"Spend a day at the beach."

This popular state park, located near historic Beaufort, is a 5,000-acre secluded barrier island of semitropical beauty.

As the name implies, the island was once used for hunting deer, raccoon, waterfowl and other small game.

As a state park, the island serves as a preserve for its abundant wildlife. With more than four miles of beach, a maritime forest and extensive saltwater marsh, the island is also a retreat for people who love a natural coastal environment.

An historic 19th-century lighthouse is Hunting Island's most popular landmark, where guests can climb to the top for a spectacular view of the coastline. The lighthouse and its complex are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hunting Island is a 'DiscoverCarolina Site', which provides curriculum-based science education programs for South Carolina school children.

Park Vistior Information

Park Accommodations: Camping and Cabins

Designation: Hunting Island State Park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal Program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program was designed to provide employment during the Great Depression while addressing national needs in conservation and recreation.

The CCC was instrumental in the development of many of South Carolina's state parks. A number of buildings built by the CCC in the 1930's are still in use at this park.

The park is listed on the National Register.

Park Hours: M-Su 6am-6pm (extended to 9pm during Daylight Savings Time)

Office Hours: M-Fri 9am-5pm Sat & Sun 11am-5pm

Admissions: $4/adult; $2.50 SC seniors; $1.50/ child age 6-15

Driving Directions: Hunting Island is 16 miles east of Beaufort on Hwy. 21. or 42 mi. E. of I-95 on Hwy 21

General Information

Tour and Programs Information: Barrier Island educational programs and tours of the historic lighthouse complex are held March through November.

Significant Natural Features: Hunting Island is always changing. Migrating creatures in air and sea come and go with the seasons, and the natural forces of erosion constantly re-shape the island.

In addition to some 3,000 acres of salt marsh and more than four miles of beach, a large lagoon, created by sand dredging in 1968, has become a natural wonderland and home to such unexpected species as seahorses and barracuda.

The park's upland areas contain one of the state's best examples of semi-tropical maritime forest, ancient sand dunes now dominated by such vegetation as slash pines, cabbage palmetto (the state tree) and live oak.

Animal visitors include loggerhead turtles, which nest on the island in the summer months. On dry land and in and around freshwater ponds can be found deer and alligators, raccoons and even eastern diamondback rattlesnakes.

Hundreds of species of birds also are resident on or visit Hunting Island, including painted buntings, tanagers and orioles, along with pelicans, oystercatchers, skimmers and terns, herons, egrets and wood storks.

Pets: Pets are not allowed in the cabins or the cabin areas. Pets are allowed in most other outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet.

2555 Sea Island PKWY
Hunting Island,SC 29920
Phone: (843) 838-2011
Fax: (843) 838-4263

Did You Know?

The brick lighthouse was constructed in 1859. During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers destroyed the lighthouse to prevent it from being used by the Union Army. The Hunting Island Lighthouse was reconstructed in 1875, and moved to its current location in 1889 to prevent damage by erosion.

Hunting Island Lighthouse.jpg

Boating Safety and Tips

Remember to have fun and be safe. More about boat safety.

There are several artificial reefs and fishing piers. that provide great fishing.

Make sure you review the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for Fish and Wildlife Regulations before you start fishing.

LowCountry Islands

A directory of local information and fun for the entire family. Covers Hilton Head, Beaufort and Bluffton SC.


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