The Environment at Hunting Island


Photo: Tim Moore

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. Friends of Hunting Island State Park takes pride in our work to help foster this rich environment by helping with preservation, stewardship programs and membership funding for facility upgrades, additions, dune restoration initiatives, accessibility products such as mobi mats, beach wheelchairs and a host of volunteers to help champion the Hunting Island experience through its environment.


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. 


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. 


Hunting Island’s beaches are important for shorebirds and seabirds, which use the beach to feed, nest, and rest along their migration route. We ask all visitors to help protect these birds by giving them space, keeping out of posted areas, and keeping dogs on a leash at all times.


Please join us  to help in our effort to keep this natural barrier island, and all its ecosystems, as protected as we can. 

Trails Report for September

On 9/7/22, due to the hot, humid weather and buggy conditions of the trails, I hiked a short loop trail. I went from the Nature Center Scenic trail to the Diamondback Rattlesnake trail and took the first cross-over trail to the Maritime Forest trail to return back to the Nature Center trail.  This took about 1 hour, was around 5,000 steps and under 2 miles.  The trails were clear and easy to follow.  I have included photos of downed trees along the Diamondback Rattlesnake trail and of the salt marsh (you can get a good perspective of the size and scope of the marsh from several sites along the Diamondback Rattlesnake trail).


Moody Boneyard–Joan Eckhardt

1042--Marsh Birds--Gary Jones--Egrets--2020_09_27_17-39-03_Hunting_Island_rookery_Sunday.J


Marsh Birds–Gary Jones

Hunting Island–From The Sky