ATTENTION: The Hunting Island lighthouse is currently open, but is subject to close without notice for repairs. For more information, please contact the park directly.
The historic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park is the only publicly accessible lighthouse in South Carolina.
For an admission of $2, visitors can climb the 167 steps and walk around the observation deck for a lofty view of the barrier island and surrounding seascape. CHILDREN MUST BE AT LEAST 44" TALL TO CLIMB THE LIGHTHOUSE.
March through Oct., the tower is open for climbing beginning at 10am daily – with the last admission accepted at 4:45pm each day. Nov. through Feb. the tower is open for climbing beginning at 10am daily – with the last admission accepted at 3:45pm each day. Visitors may find the lighthouse closed during inclement weather due to safety concerns.
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.