Hunting Island State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Hunting Island State Park is a premier destination for your next RV escape, with 5,000 acres of an untouched barrier island just waiting to be explored. Located just east of Beaufort, South Carolina, it’s no wonder why Hunting Island State Park attracts over one million visitors per year. This park is home to white sandy beaches, the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and the state's only historic lighthouse that is open to the public to climb!
You’ll love the chance to hike and bike on eight miles of trails among jaw-dropping views of marshland, beach, and ocean. If you are an angler, you’ll have access to popular fishing spots like the fishing pier, the lagoon, and the surf. Boating and swimming are also popular maritime activities at this beautiful state park. Learn all about the natural history and native wildlife of the park at the Nature Center. Wildlife and birding enthusiasts will get a thrill out of spotting alligators, pelicans, egrets, and herons. On the beach, discover crabs, jellyfish, and loggerhead turtles. History buffs will enjoy a climb up the Hunting Island Lighthouse, which stands at 130 feet tall and offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Hunting Island State Park is pleasant at any time of year. Summer offers sunny days in the 80s and 90s, while the winter months are usually in the 50s and 60s. No matter what season you take an RV trip to Hunting Island State Park, you can enjoy five miles of beach recreation or explore the saltwater lagoon. You can even enjoy a spectacular sunset when you park your rig and head on over to Marsh Boardwalk.

RV Rentals in Hunting Island State Park

Transportation in Hunting Island State Park

Driving

On the southeastern tip of South Carolina, just about 50 miles from Hilton Head Island and only an hour from Savannah, Georgia, you can find the wild and rugged beauty of Hunting Island State Park. Since the park is an island, there is only one way in and out of the park, and that is US-21. You can reach US -21 by way of SC-170 from the southwest, I-95 from the northwest, and US-17 from the northeast.
Getting to the park in your RV or car is easy; US-21 is the main road that runs through the park; however, there are also local roads that will take you to parking lots and attractions, such as the lighthouse. There are no driving restrictions for RVs or trailers inside the park.
If you want more adventure on your way to or from the island, take a side trip to Ace Basin National Wildlife Refuge in Hollywood, SC, which is about 68 miles northeast of Hunting Island. This 11,815-acre park is a protected area that is home to many endangered species such as the wood stork. The refuge gives tours of the antebellum plantation located on the property, so you will have plenty to see and do if you stop.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Hunting Island State Park

Campsites in Hunting Island State Park

Reservations camping

Hunting Island State Park Campground

Waking up with the sound of the ocean outside your camper is like a dream come true, especially when you are on vacation. The campground at Hunting Island State Park offers 102 campsites right by the Atlantic Ocean. They all have 20/30/50-amp electric and water hookups and can accommodate motorhomes, RVs, and campers from 28 to 45 feet in length. Every site has its own picnic table, campfire ring with a grill, and enough space for you and five others to sit around the fire. You can find four comfort stations around the campground with hot showers and restrooms with running water. There is also an RV sanitation dumpsite and trash station across the road near the hiking trail.
Kids will enjoy the huge playground with slides, swings, and more located at the end of the road across from campsite 99. The park store is located by the parking lot across from the beach where you can get any supplies you may need as well as souvenirs for your friends back home. Go ahead and bring your fur buddies, too, because they are welcome. You just have to keep them on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times during your stay. You need to reserve your site early, especially if you are planning your visit on a weekend or holiday.

Cabins at Hunting Island State Park

If you want to park your rig off-site, try a stay at the one cabin available for rent, with views of the picturesque historic lighthouse. You will enjoy a fully furnished rustic cabin with central air, heat, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, microwave, DVD player, Wi-Fi, and satellite TV. You will even have bedding, cooking utensils, dishes, a screened-in porch, and a picnic table, and a BBQ grill right outside your back door. Pets are not allowed, and the cabin has a minimum stay of two nights. Reservations are required and can be booked up to 13 months in advance.

Point South / Yemassee KOA

The award-winning Point South/Yemassee KOA campground is in the heart of the antebellum South, an area rich with history and culture. You’ll be able to make easy day trips to destinations such as Savannah, Charleston, Beaufort, and Hilton Head Island, though you may not even want to leave the campground. Activities and amenities right on-site include wine tastings and craft beer, a coffee house, made-to-order pizza and wings delivered directly to your site, gem-mining, a pool, a playground, recreational and sports facilities, planned activities, digital cable, and high-speed Wi-Fi.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Hunting Island State Park

In-Season

Biking

If you’re packing your bike in your camper, you’ll love a ride along the Island Bike/Hike Trail. This eight-mile scenic trek is open to biking and hiking year-round. You can coast along with majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean, maritime forest, and marshlands. For more of a challenge, Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail is a moderately strenuous trail for experienced bikers only. This 2.3-mile trail starts at the Nature Center and ends at the Maritime Forest Trail. You won’t want to miss a chance to bike along some of the most scenic trails in South Carolina.

Climb the Lighthouse

A trip to this state park wouldn’t be complete without a climb up the 167 steps to the top of the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse. Originally built in 1859, the lighthouse stands at a towering 130 feet tall. When you climb to the top, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean all around you. Make sure you pack your camera and binoculars in your rig before heading to the island so you can get some of these one-of-a-kind photos.

Boating and Swimming

If you are longing for a beach getaway on your RV trip to South Carolina, Hunting Island State Park is a prime destination. You can swim along the majestic waters of the Atlantic Ocean for hours of fun in the sun. If you plan on bringing your boat, you can use the public boat launch located on the south end of the park, which provides access to the Fripp Inlet and Harbor River as well. Be sure to bring some life jackets for everyone on board.

Hiking

There are eight miles of tranquil trails you can hike during your trip to Hunting Island State Park, with each pathway featuring views of the Atlantic Ocean and the marshlands. If you want to hike through maritime forest and catch a glimpse of hawks, squirrels, and deer, you’ll enjoy a trek along the two-mile Maritime Forest Trail. For oceanfront and forest views, you’ll love a hike along the 0.4-mile Lighthouse Nature Trail. If you are looking for a leisurely scenic stroll, check out the 0.25-mile Marsh Boardwalk Trail, where you can view maritime wildlife and gorgeous sunsets.

Fishing

Fishing is a popular pastime to enjoy during your RV vacation to Hunting Island State Park, so make sure you pack your fishing gear before heading out. There are several prime spots for anglers to visit, including Johnson Creek, the lagoon, beach, or the fishing pier. The fishing pier, which is located on the southern edge of the island, juts out 1,120 feet along Fripp Inlet. You can purchase fishing supplies from the park store or rent rods and reels at the Nature Center if you forgot yours.

Off-Season

Horseback Riding

If you’re an avid equestrian, you’ll have the chance to go riding in a picturesque setting during your motorhome trip to this state park. In December, January, and February, you will have access to the equestrian beach. The beach is the perfect location to ride horses amidst the breathtaking views of crashing waves and sandy beaches. You and your horse will love chasing seagulls and splashing through the Atlantic Ocean. But make sure you don’t accidentally catch one of them. You’ll also need to make sure you have a permit issued by the park.

Nature Center and Visitor Center

Another exciting way to learn more about the natural history and native wildlife during your visit is to check out the Nature Center and Visitor Center. The Nature Center features exhibits about the park’s natural resources and gives visitors a chance to see live reptiles. The park’s Visitor Center is an interesting museum where you can learn about the history of the lighthouse and the phenomenon of erosion at the park. The park also offers guided educational walks like the Creatures of the Night and Sunrise Lighthouse Climb.

Educational Programs

If you want to learn about the amazing natural history of this unique barrier island, park your rig and attend one of the educational programs that are offered year-round at the park. Held at the Nature Center and around the park, these programs share the fascinating story of the island and the enchanting wildlife that call it home. These programs are an excellent way for the whole family to have some fun and gain some insight during an RV trip to Hunting Island State Park.

Photography

Hunting Island State Park is a mecca for photographers. You’ll want to make sure you pack your camera in your rig before you head to the island for a chance to get some amazing shots of wildlife, birds, and the Atlantic Ocean. You can catch some beautiful pictures when you take your camera to watch beach sunrises and sunsets over Marsh Boardwalk. You may also be able to catch some photos of interesting critters such as humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins splashing around in the ocean.

Geocaching

Geocaching is a way to have a modern-day treasure hunt during your visit to Hunting Island State Park. There are several geocaches, or treasures, hidden within the park. You can use GPS coordinates that you can find on websites and smartphone apps to explore the park and find these hidden trinkets. One of these caches is located off the Marsh Boardwalk Trail and includes the coordinates to lead you to other geocaches in the park. Bring along a pen and some small trinkets so you can sign the logbook and add to the treasure.

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