THE HIKING TRAILS OF HUNTING ISLAND
“Get in touch with nature along the trails in the pristine maritime forest at Hunting Island. Most of the trails are shady and meandering with views of the lagoon and persistent breezes from the ocean. Bird life is plentiful here and when you’re on the trails you can observe egrets, herons, ospreys, pelicans and gulls, as well as our local population of magnificent bald eagles. If you catch the lagoon on an incoming tide you will see birds in action, spectacularly diving for bait fish. We’ve even seen dolphins frolicking in the water while on a trail walk. It’s an amazing sight that will always stop you in your tracks”…EAT STAY PLAY BEAUFORT
The Sea entrance to the Lagoon from the Logoon Trail
Photo courtesy of FOHI Trails Director, Tim Moore
Great egret from the Marsh Boardwalk trail
The forest from the Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail
Hunting Island deer from the Visitor Center Trail
Photo's courtesy of Tim Moore
MAY/JUNE, 2021 REPORT FROM FOHI TRAILS DIRECTOR, TIM MOORE
On 4/23/2021, as part of the Virtual Low Country Master Naturalist Program, I spent the day on Hunting Island learning about barrier islands through guided lessons prepared by the Low Country Institute instructors. I walked the beach to find and identify sea shells and shore animals. I walked the Marsh Boardwalk trail to observe a salt marsh habitat and walked the Nature Center Scenic trail/Little Hunting Island Loop trail to observe where the barrier island has experienced severe erosion over time. I have included a photo of the lagoon and sand dunes created from beach refurbishment that occurred in 1968. I have also included a photo of an osprey in a dead tree off of the Little Hunting Island beach.
On 5/25/2021, I walked the South beach again looking for shells and shore creatures. I found several sand dollars, many broken shells, and a strange creature called a ghost shrimp which had apparently come up from its normally deep burrow on the beach. I reached back to the Low country Institute to identify it. I have included a photo.
On 6/9/2021, I hiked the Maritime Forest trail starting at the Visitor Center and looped back on the Lagoon trail. This was about 12,000 steps, around 5 miles and took 2 hours. The Maritime Forest trail had been flooded for a prolonged period of time and parts of the trail were not clear but generally the trails were easy to follow. Except for the part of the trail that starts at the Visitor Center, the Maritime Forest trail is the clearest and easiest trail at Hunting Island. I have included a photo of the Lagoon Trail.