Explore Nature at its Best
Hunting Island, just 10 minutes from Fripp, offers a day of exploring and is one of South Carolina's most popular state parks. With 5 miles of beaches, a salt water lagoon and thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, you'll enjoy all that nature has to offer. The island is also home to the only publicly accessible lighthouse in the state. Hunting Island Lighthouse is a must see on your visit, offering beautiful views of the barrier island and surrounding seascape. And don't miss a visit to the Nature Center. You'll find live animals and exhibits as well as special programs throughout the year. Check out Local Fun for more off-island adventures.
Climb to the top (167 steps) of Hunting Island Lighthouse for fantastic views of the barrier island and surrounding waters of the Atlantic.
Make your reservation 24 hours in advance by calling 843-838-4868 during office hours - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Mon -Fri, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat - Sun. Reservations may be made the same day at the park, if space is available.
The lighthouse was closed for repairs in May 2003 when cracks were discovered in several of its cast-iron steps. In a renovation that spanned more than 18 months, construction crews not only repaired the cracks, but installed steel braces beneath them for reinforcement. Left unpainted, the silver-gray braces stand out in sharp contrast to the black cast-iron stairs. The contrast helps distinguish between the original structure and modern improvements, which protect the lighthouse’s historic integrity.
The original structure was 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. (Source: South Carolina State Parks)
Explore and learn at the Hunting Island Nature Center. With programs and exhibits available year 'round (varies by season), this is a great way to see animals up close and learn more about the natural habitants found on the island. Call for current programs 843-838-7437.
Hike through Hunting Island and discover the amazing terrain and wildlife found on this beautiful barrier island.
Twelve Easy and Moderate trails offer varying sites and discoveries through the maritime forest, around lagoons and over the salt marsh. Among the island's wildlife, look for alligators and deer as well as owls, hawks, egrets and other wading birds. Don't forget your camera!