A history of Hunting Island

Dated: October 17 2019

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hunting island state park

One of the most popular spots here in the Lowcountry is Hunting Island State Park, and it's one of the many reasons why people love calling Beaufort SC their home.

Hunting Island State Park has nearly five mile of unspoiled beach and is enjoyed by more than one million visitors from all over the world each year, holding the notoriety of being South Carolina’s single most popular state park

In addition to the natural beach, the island also attracts a vast array of land and marine wildlife including loggerhead sea turtles, bald eagles, gators, raccoons, deer and literally hundreds of species of birds; most notably pelicans, herons and egrets.

The park is home to thousands of acres of marshlands, a beautiful maritime forest, a lighthouse and a saltwater lagoon; which all play their part in the state park’s mass appeal.

Originally a spot for hunting, hence the name, the barrier island was originally a hunting destination for the Lowcountry's elite in the 1800s & 1900s.

During the Depression in the 1930′s, Hunting Island was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps during a Presidential initiative to create jobs for men during a time of need, while addressing the nation’s needs for recreational places at the same time.

Civilian COnservation Corps at Hunting Island 1930s; photo courtesy South Carolina Archives

The Civilian Conservation Corps also built the Harbor River Bridge as the overland way to get to Hunting Island.

When it was completed, Hunting Island officially became a state park in 1935.

Hunting Island State Park <a href=Beaufort SC" width="500" height="281" />

The lighthouse was already there before the park came along and was first lit in July of 1859. Its unique design allows it to cast a beam of light 17 miles into the sea. 

hunting island lighthouse beaufort sc

During the Civil War, the first Hunting Island lighthouse was blown up in 1861 by retreating Confederate forces and the lighthouse that exists today was completed in 1875.

In 1887, the lighthouse was taken apart and relocated just over a mile inland, in the very spot where it stands today.

Today, Hunting Island is a one of a kind location where nature, beauty and serenity all meet up together and enjoy a day at the beach. 

Another one of the amazing reasons why it's good to call the Lowcountry "home".

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