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Hunting Island State Park

Friday 12/28/2012

Hunting Island State Park

Hunting Island, SC

On Wednesday, 12/26, we took a walk around Little Cedar Creek Campground.  It’s a very small campground with only about 26 sites.  Nearly all but about 6 or 7 sites are occupied by short-term and long-term guests.  The other sites are used by overnighters and weekly guests.  There are a couple of ponds.  We only walked to one of them.
There’s also a playground and some cabins for rent.  We walked one of the trails, but it was still quite wet from the rain earlier in the day.
This is a quiet, quaint campground about 20 minutes north of Columbia, SC.  This is a good place to stop if you’re ever traveling on I-77.  Just call ahead first to make sure they have room for you.  Smile

Thursday, 12/27, we hooked up and headed out for Hunting Island State Park.  We got our usual “early” start at about 12:15 PM.  I don't know smile  According to Google Maps it should have been about a three-hour trip.  Just over FIVE HOURS later, we arrived at 5:25 PM!!!  Our first stop was a planned stop for diesel fuel.  Then we had to stop to clean up after one of the cats.  And then the real fun began.  We were traveling east on I-26 toward I-95, and the traffic slowed to a 5 MPH crawl.  Traffic on I-26 was backing up because of all the vehicles merging onto I-95.  It took us about an hour and a half to go about 30 miles.  Then, of course, we needed to stop for a break for ourselves.  We were almost out of daylight when we finally got to our campsite.  I reserved our site “blindly” online earlier in the week.  Reserve  America (R.A.) did NOT have any pictures of the site, and I couldn’t see any satellite shots of the campsite due to the trees.  R.A. stated a site length of 60 feet and a maximum vehicle length of 45 feet.  What it didn’t state was that the campsite is positioned almost to the point that you have to approach it from the wrong direction of the loop to get into it, AND it’s on a hard left curve with trees on both sides of the road!  Luckily there was an empty site and a small parking area across from our site, and after many back and forth movements I got the rig turned almost around and into the site!  By now it was dark and we (Terri, me, and the cats) were ALL ready to call it a day.  Here we are in site #64 this morning.  Note the road and the direction of traffic goes from left to right in these pictures directly next to the truck and behind the car!  I took these pictures from the site on the other side of the road.
Here’s another view of the road curving around behind our car, and then it runs to the right by the fence with trees on both sides of the road.
Anyway, we made it and we’re glad we’re here, but I don’t think we’ll probably come back to site #64 again. Surprised smile

Today, 12/28, we went exploring.  I got some very early morning pictures.  This one is looking out our rear side window.
This is from our site standing outside next to the rig.
And the next one is from near the fence looking out over the sand dunes.
Soon after taking these pictures, we headed out to the beach and walked south toward the lighthouse.  This is looking north
and this is looking south.
Here’s a view of our rig from the beach.
There’s a lot of “tree” debris on the beach.  It’s really quite fascinating.
DSCN6656 DSCN6655
We had to cross this creek that feeds into the Atlantic.
There’s so much debris that we chose to leave the beach and follow the “path” of others…
which led to the wooded Lighthouse Nature Trail.
The Lighthouse Nature Trail took us to…
the Hunting Island Lighthouse!  Upon finding out that the lighthouse wasn’t open yet, we headed back out to the beach for a different view of it…
and then over to a “groin” that was nearby.  After seeing a warning sign cautioning us of a “submerged groin,” I had to look it up when we got home.  A “groin” is a low wall or sturdy timber barrier built out into the sea from a beach to check erosion and drifting.  Disappointed smile
We walked back north on the road leading to the Lighthouse Nature Trail.
At the end of the trail we veered back out to the beach to see if we could find our way through some dense tree debris.  It was quite interesting and beautiful, to us anyway.
After making our way back up the beach and to our campsite for a short rest break, we walked around almost all of the campground looking for some campsites for another visit some other time.  Then after another short break, we jumped in the car and went over to the lighthouse.  We paid our $2 each and climbed up all 167 steps to the observation deck.  Terri was rather nervous way up there out on that deck, but she did it and was glad she did.  Surprised smile
The views from the observation deck were spectacular!
After walking through the other buildings near the lighthouse we drove south to the Hunting Island State Park Nature Center.
We spent nearly an hour reading about animals and sea creatures and looking at the displays.  There were also some live creatures on display including turtles, fish, and snakes.  (NO snake pictures Gail.)  Open-mouthed smile  Outside the Nature Center we walked out to the end of the fishing pier.
The Nature Center is the building to the left of the pier in the above picture on the right.  It was quite cold walking out on the pier, but we were determined to go all the way to the end.  On the way back to the campground we stopped and walked out on the Marsh Boardwalk.  There was very little wind, and it wasn’t as cold as the pier.
By now we were pretty tuckered out and ready to call it a day.  However after we got back to the campground, we did walk north on the beach just a very short distance.  Unfortunately the day had turned cold and windy, and we were ready to get home.  We’ve really enjoyed our time here, but tomorrow we’ll be moving on down the road a bit.

Smile  Here’s one more picture from the beach.  Smile

Smile  Open-mouthed smile  Smile  Open-mouthed smile  Smile


  1. So great that you went to Hunting Island. And you crossed the river Jordan too. ;-)). It took us two weeks to do what you did in one day. Loved seeing your pictures. Great memories for me.

  2. The loop you're on is indeed a tough one to negotiate. We had made a trip to Hunting Island to check it out while we were at Parris Island, so we stuck to the loop on the other side. You sure squeezed a lot into one day ... and it brought back great memories of our two weeks there not long ago.

  3. The tree debris looks like sculptures to me.

  4. I hate reserving a site blindly also. You just never know what you are going to get. It always seems to work out though. Looks like a neat state park. I would love to be there right now to do some metal detecting on the beach. With all the tree debris there could be all kinds of things that washed up from past storms.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for not publishing any of THOSE pictures! I have a feeling that my reputation precedes me :)

    Your site may have been very difficult to get in to, but your views were awesome! This is another park we've got on our list as we've been reading other reviews. It looks like a great place to stay for awhile. You did do a lot in one day. You might be too tired to travel very far today :) Or leave very early :)

  6. Looks like a great place to visit, glad you were able to safely navigate that tight spot!

  7. Good job squeezing your fiver into that tight site. I guess you have mastered the art of backing up into a shoebox.

    Quite the whirlwind tour of HI, but you needed to stretch your legs after that long driving day. Bet Terri even got sick of her Donny Osmund CD playing over and over again! ;c)

  8. Yikes! We would have given up I think :-) Love that park, will have to put it on our list!

  9. We've gotten into that I-26, I-95 merging traffic too. I really like your photographs of the tree trunks on the beach and now it's good weather to hike a beach insects. There's a trail very close to us in the Croatan National Forest and I had forgotten all about it until I saw your post. It has a nice boardwalk too.

  10. We were just there and we had some tight spots to drive through on one of the loops away from the ocean. If you like natural....this is the park for you!! Be sure to come stocked up as it is a ride to Beaufort to get supplies!

  11. We're getting lots of reports of heavy traffic coming south to Fla on I95. Travel safe!

  12. I like your new header photo. We've been hearing about the insane traffic on I-95 and I-75. Guess you guys got a first hand look at it. Take care.

  13. It looks like it was a tight squeeze, but you have some fantastic pictures!

  14. Your photos of the trees on the beach and the lighthouse are awesome.

    Good job on getting your rig in the cattle chute. Those sites are sure a test of driving skills.

    Happy New Year!

    Susan and Bob