MORE INFORMATION: Hunting Island State Park 2555 Sea Island Parkway Hunting Island, SC 29920 Phone: 843-838-2011
HIGHLIGHTS: Hunting Island is located a short distance from the popular tourist destination of Hilton Head Island, and it is managed as a 5,000 acre nature preserve run by the State of South Carolina. A 19th century lighthouse is located on the northern side of the island and it has excellent views of both the park and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Game hunters named the island and used the maritime forest to track deer, raccoon, birds, and other small game which thrive in the varied habits of the park. Today, Hunting Island is off-limits to hunters and it is a protected preserve where hikers, mountain bikers and fisherman can enjoy the maritime forests, sandy beaches, and saltwater marshes of the park.
There are four separate trails here, but most are a mile or less in length. The Island Trail, in contrast, is a six mile roundtrip loop hike that hugs the southern end of Hunting Island and has two small spur trails that lead to the saltwater marsh area to the west. Although there is no camping permitted in the backcountry or on the beach, Hunting Island State Park does have 200 campsites (which allow dogs) and 14 vacation cabins (which do not allow dogs.) There are also full service facilities a short distance away in Beaufort.