Untamed Lowcountry

Here’s a spot Coastal Living says you should visit now. Hint: It’s in Beaufort County

An aerial tour of Hunting Island

State park officials had already planned a beach restoration project before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Now the amount of sand needed has almost doubled. Engineers plan to pump up to 1.2 million cubic yards of sand onto Hunting Island’s shor
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State park officials had already planned a beach restoration project before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Now the amount of sand needed has almost doubled. Engineers plan to pump up to 1.2 million cubic yards of sand onto Hunting Island’s shor

A popular Beaufort County beach that’s topped several magazines’ “must-visit” lists has made its way onto yet another one.

Hunting Island State Park was the only South Carolina location named in Coastal Living’s “50 Secret Places to Visit Now.”

The list included places abroad such as Tasmania, Australia, Folegandros, Greece, and Krabi, Thailand, as well as some up and down the U.S. east coast in Florida, Massachusetts, and Maine.

The barrier island, which hosts more than a million visitors a year, is 5,000 acres and is situated in the northeastern part of the county less than 20 miles from Beaufort.

It’s a place that has day-trippers “(gaping) at the windswept marvel of it all,” the article said.

In addition to being a hub for wildlife from sharks to a rare 1,000-pound sea turtle to slithering rattlesnakes that sometimes surprise bikers, South Carolina’s most popular lighthouse is located there. It’s been standing for more than 140 years and is the only historic lighthouse in the state that’s open to the public, The Island Packet previously reported.

The article also mentions the sole “darling, just-rustic-enough” rental cabin the park has to offer. Beach erosion over the years took a toll on other cabins that used to be on the island, including the iconic “Little Blue” that was torn down in 2017.

It has 102 camping sites with water and electrical hookups plus a primitive group camping area.

Last year, Hunting Island was mentioned in Coastal Living’s “14 Secret Places in America to Visit Now” and Southern Living’s “The South’s Best State Parks.”

Hunting Island is slated for a massive beach restoration project after being battered by Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Irma.

Admission to the park is $5 for adults, $3.25 for South Carolina senior citizens, $3 for children ages 6-15, and free for those under age 5.

Lighthouse admission is $2 per person. Children must be at least 44-inches tall to climb the lighthouse.

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Lana Ferguson has covered news of all sorts for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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