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 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 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 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

Getting to the park in your RV or car is easy, as is it located off I-95 and Highway 21. Highway 21 is the main road that runs through the park, although there are also local roads that will take you to parking lots and attractions, such as the light house. There are no driving restrictions for RVs or trailers inside the park.

Parking

There are four main parking lots dotted around the park. The parking lots are located at Marsh Boardwalk, near the Maritime Forest Trail, by the beach, and near the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse. Parking is also available at the campground if you are staying overnight. You should have no trouble parking your RV, although spots may fill up quickly during the peak season.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Hunting Island State Park

Campsites in Hunting Island State Park

Reservations camping

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.

Hunting Island State Park Campground

More than 100 pet-friendly sites are available for RVs and tents at the northern end of the park near the ocean. Every site features hookups to electricity and water. Some sites can accommodate RVs up to 28 feet in length, while others can handle RVs up to 40 feet long. You’ll have easy access to restrooms, hot showers, and a dump station. You are also within walking distance to the beach, a hiking trail, playground, and park store, where you can stock up on groceries and souvenirs. Reservations must be made for a minimum of two nights and can be booked up to 13 months in advance.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First Served

There are no First-Come, First-Served campgrounds at Hunting Island State Park.

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

For those who prefer to stay outside of the park there are a number of private campgrounds and RV parks located near Hunting Island State Park. These private campgrounds are located in nearby Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. You can choose the accommodations you desire, whether you want a rustic or resort experience. Amenities many include wi-fi, cable TV, and a swimming pool.

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. Pets are not allowed and the cabin has a minimum stay of two nights. Reservations can be booked up to 13 months in advance.

Seasonal activities in Hunting Island State Park

In-Season

Climb the Lighthouse

A trip to this state park wouldn’t be a 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.

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.

Biking

If you’re packing your bike in your camper, you’ll love a ride along the Island Bike/Hike Trail. This 8-mile scenic trek is open to biking and hiking year-round. You can coast along majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean, maritime forest and marshlands. You won’t want to miss a chance to bike along some of the most scenic trails in South Carolina.

Hiking

There are eight miles of tranquil trails you can hike during your trip to Hunting Island State Park, featuring views of the Atlantic Ocean and 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 2-mile Maritime Forest Trail. For oceanfront and forest views, you’ll love a hike along the .4-mile Lighthouse Nature Trail. If you are looking for a leisurely scenic stroll, check out the .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. 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 the park store or rent rods and reels at the Nature Center.

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, where you can ride horses amidst breathtaking views of crashing waves and sandy beaches.

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 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.

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. This is a great 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 for a chance to get some amazing shots of maritime wildlife, birds, and the Atlantic Ocean. You can catch amazing pictures when you take your camera to watch beach sunrises and sunsets over Marsh Boardwalk.

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 you can find on websites and smartphone apps to explore the park and find these hidden trinkets.

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