Welcome to Hunting Island
South Carolina's Wild Barrier Island 

Friends of Hunting Island was organized in 1993 and dedicated to helping the park enhance the unique natural wonders and educational opportunities that exist on the island. As a non-profit, 501(c)(3), independent volunteer organization, Friends of Hunting Island’s mission is to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural and cultural resources of Hunting Island by educating the public and promoting a variety of programs.

 

With a current membership of over 1200 volunteers, we continue to grow, matching the park’s increasing need for help to initiate and maintain various projects and functions which otherwise might be scaled back due to state fiscal restraints.

Hunting Island is South Carolina’s single most popular state park, attracting more than a million visitors a year, as well as a vast array of land and marine wildlife. Five miles of pristine South Carolina beache, thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet are all part of the park’s natural allure.

 

Hunting Island is home to the historic Hunting Island lighthouse, built in 1859 and rebuilt in 1875 after it was destroyed during the Civil War. A unique feature of the lighthouse is that it was constructed of interchangeable cast-iron sections so it could be dismantled should it ever need to be moved. Severe beach erosion made it necessary to relocate the lighthouse 1.3 miles inland in 1889.

Each year, Friends of Hunting Island manages the Island’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Beginning in spring, volunteers are recruited to walk the beach during nesting season and protect the eggs that have been laid overnight from critters who might do them harm. Working with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the FOHI team works diligently through to October in this highly anticipated project. 2022 brought a record number of loggerheads up on our shores and produced the most successful season ever. 

In 2019, Friends of Hunting Island teamed up with Audubon South Carolina. Since then, we have been witness to the preservation of a wonderful nesting area that has become a natural and undisturbed habitat, removed from most beach goers, allowing shorebird and seabird parents to safely forage for food and raise their young with minimal human disturbance. Federally threatened Piping Plovers and Red Knots have all been seen here at Hunting Island due to the protection of this sanctuary, as well as Wilson’s Plover, American Oystercatchers, Least Tern, Black Skimmers, Snowy Egret and Willets. Please visit our Shorebird Stewardship Program for more information.

Hunting Island State Park camping is available at 100 campsites with water and electrical hookups, shower and restroom facilities, beach walkways and a playground. Hunting Island State Park camping reservations must be made for a minimum of two nights.Twenty five Rustic tent sites were installed in 2020, providing beachside pads with a fire pit and picnic table for an "under the stars' minimal camping experience.

 

Hunting Island State Park Hours, Fees & Camping

 

For current park hours and fees plus campsite reservations and information, check the Hunting Island State Park website, or call 843.838.2011. 

 

PARK HOURS

  • 6 AM – 6 PM daily (extended to 9 PM during Daylight Saving Time)
     

OFFICE HOURS 

  • 9 AM – 5 PM (Monday – Friday)

  • 11 AM – 5 PM (Saturday – Sunday)

PARK FEES

  • Adults $8

  • SC Seniors $5

  • Youth 6-15 $4

  • Ages 5 and younger—FREE

 

BY THE NUMBERS

5 miles of beach

1 saltwater lagoon

5000 acres of lowcountry South Carolina that includes beach, marsh and maritime forest

1 historic lighthouse, the only publicly accessible lighthouse in South Carolina

167 steps to climb to the top of the lighthouse

102 standard campsites, all of which offer 50amp service and are highly-coveted year round

25 Rustic tent sites

1 cabin located near the lighthouse

1 nature center with all sorts of neat creatures and regularly scheduled programs for you to enjoy

1 pier for fishing -- or just strolling to the end to see the view

1 picnic shelter for family reunions or other group outings

 

Lighthouse Sunrise–Delk Heigler

 

Hidden Lagoon–Robert Gecy

 

Mama Loggerhead–Tina Bowen

Black Skimmers–Tom Brady

 

Rustic Tent Sites–Carl Berube

 

Fishing Pier–Linda Miller