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Hunting Island

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PARK ADVISORY

The North Beach day parking and day use areas to include the lighthouse complex, will be closed on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. due to a special event.  We apologize for the inconvenience.


As of April 1, 2024, Russ Point Landing is TEMPORARILY CLOSED, to public use, due to deteriorating road conditions. It may still be used by state park service personnel. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. The state permitting and approvals required to begin temporary infrastructure repairs at Russ Point are complete. The project is now out to bid.  See more information, hereNext steps: The project will follow the state procurement process. Bids are due May 7 at 2 PM. We anticipate that work will begin in the coming months, depending on the schedule of the contractor selected in the bid process. These temporary repairs will address safety concerns and allow Russ Point to reopen to the public. Efforts are also in progress to identify a more permanent repair solution at Russ Point, and the funding required to support it. We will send additional updates after bids close on May 7.


Due to staffing issues, the campground store will have new hours Sunday - Thursday 9:00 am-4:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. 


The lighthouse gift shop will be closed until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience. 


We now have a track chair available for visitors with mobility impairments, thanks to the Ford Bronco Wild Fund. Visitors are encouraged to call the park to reserve the track chair at least 48 hours in advance to ensure availability. There is no additional charge to use the track chair, but a Park Passport or park admission is required for entry for all visitors. Read more about this new track chair, here.


Due to safety concerns, the Hunting Island lighthouse is currently closed to tours, until repairs can be made.  The lighthouse can still be viewed from the grounds and docents will be on hand to interpret and give more information about the lighthouse.  We apologize for the inconvenience.


Join us on a tour of St. Phillips Island! Click here for details!

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HOURS

Park Hours:
6 a.m. - 6 p.m., daily (extended to 9 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time)

Nature Center Hours:
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday

OFFICE

9 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sa-Su

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ADMISSION

$8/adult; $5/SC seniors; $4/ child age 6-15; Free for children 5 and younger

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PETS

Pets are not allowed in the cabin or the cabin area, on the pier or inside the lighthouse complex. Dogs are not permitted on the tip of North Beach past the posted markers to protect critical shorebird habitat. Pets are allowed in most other outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife.

Hunting Island State Park  Has Wifi

Wifi Available

Hunting Island State Park  Has EV Charging Station

EV Charging Station

Hunting Island State Park

Coast

St. Phillips Island


General Information

St. Phillips Island is a 4-mile-long, 4,680-acre undeveloped barrier island off the coast of Beaufort, South Carolina. This former private island can only be accessed by boat and is a true hidden gem of the Lowcountry. For nearly 40 years, it was owned by billionaire conservationist Ted Turner, who purchased St. Phillips in 1979 to preserve its integrity as an unspoiled natural environment and protect it from development. In 2017, the State of South Carolina purchased the island, which is now operated in conjunction with nearby Hunting Island State Park.



For information on Day Trips and FAQ, see below

Click here for a map of St. Phillips Island

Click here to book your day trip

Click here for more information on overnight lodging at the Turner House




Day Trips to St. Phillips Island

Departing from St. Helena Island, the St. Phillips Island Ferry starts with a 30-minute boat ride along the Story River led by a naturalist with extensive knowledge of the fragile coastal environment and the history of the Beaufort barrier islands.

As you pass through the salt marsh estuary, considered the most productive ecosystem in the world, you’ll learn about its role as the “nursery of the sea” and the spartina grass that acts as the first line of defense for runoff and erosion control.

The educational and entertaining lessons continue on the 3.5-mile tram ride from the St. Phillips dock on the back side of the island to the beach located near Turner’s former home. Traversing the dense maritime forest on the rambling sand road Turner built across the island, you get a visual understanding of the ancient dune system and interdunal swales and ponds where it’s not unusual to spot alligators, egrets and other wildlife.

Once at the tram stop, you are free to walk the beach and explore the island on your own on some 4 miles of trails carefully carved through the forest.

As you venture into the untamed wilderness, you quickly discover the stunning beauty of the primordial landscape, thick with towering longleaf pines, old-growth magnolias and gnarled live oaks covered in Spanish moss. The trails take you past freshwater ponds, between brackish sloughs and over sand dune ridges to experience a variety of ecosystems and wetland habitats. Traveling the length of the island, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the salt marsh, Trenchards Inlet and a “boneyard” beach scattered with the weather-beaten remnants of trees. It’s a day in nature that you won’t forget!


Book your tour here!



Tour FAQ

Price

  • Adults: $65
  • Children 3-12: $35
  • Children 2 & under: Free

Duration

  • Tours are 6 hours long and depart at 9 a.m.
  • The St. Phillips Island Ferry departs on time and does not return for latecomers. We recommend that you plan to arrive 20-30 minutes before your departure to give yourself plenty of time to park, gather your belongings, and use the facilities before you board the ferry.

Where to Meet

  • Coastal Expeditions St. Helena Basecamp
  • Address: 1928 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island, SC 29920
  • From Hunting Island State Park, turn right and drive 5.9 miles. Coastal Expeditions will be on the left. 

What to Bring

  • Participants should bring water, insect repellent, sunscreen, snacks and a bagged lunch. There are no food options available on the island, so make sure your pack all of the food and water you will need for the day.
  • Participants should wear a hat, sunglasses, quick-drying clothes, and walking shoes (not flip-flops). Layers are encouraged since temperatures can vary on the boat and the island. 
  • Optional: binoculars, swimsuit, towel, rain coat, beach blanket

Facilities

  • Picnic tables are available in the area to enjoy the packed lunch you’re encouraged to bring on the day trip.




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