One of the last remaining undeveloped Sea Islands in Lowcountry, Hunting Island is a 5000-acre, semitropical barrier island located 15 miles east of Beaufort, South Carolina. It is part of the ACE Basin estuarine reserve area and the most visited park in South Carolina.
Once used as a hunting preserve by wealthy planters’ families in South Carolina, Hunting Island was renowned for hunting parties that lasted several days. The island was also a common layover for sailors and pirates, including the famous Blackbeard.
In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built bridges to the island, making access available to all. At that time, Hunting Island became a state park. With only limited development, the island has remained a wildlife preserve. There are over four miles of pristine beach, maritime forests, and saltwater marshes,
The lighthouse, originally built in the 1800’s, was destroyed during the Civil War.
It was rebuilt and remained in service until the 1930’s. Today, although not an active lighthouse, it still has a decorative rotating light in the tower that is turned on at night.
Hunting Island is consistently rated one of America’s top beaches. Along with the beautiful beaches, Hunting Island also boasts miles of hiking trails through maritime forests, a fishing pier that juts out 1120 feet into the Fripp Inlet, a marsh walk, a lagoon that allows for kayaking and fishing, a Nature Center that has live animal exhibits and interactive touch screens that show all of the natural habitats, a Visitors Center to introduce you to all of the different ecosystems in the park, and a camping area with easy access to the beach. Add to that a park and ranger staff that is friendly and knowledgeable and you have a vacation that has it all!
Help rebuild the park. The rangers and staff are selling Standing Strong t-shirts that show the still standing lighthouse. The t-shirts are available at the Nature Center.
We need only two things to provide the services and projects you see described on this website: your participation and your tax-deductible membership fees. For one $40 membership contribution, you and your family can join Friends of Hunting Island and have unlimited access to the park for one year. All members are encouraged to participate in any of our on-going projects. If you do not wish to join, but want to donate to our efforts, click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the Friends of Hunting Island.