About the Friends of Hunting Island

Founded in 1993 by Dataw Island residents, Friends of Hunting Island is a non-profit all-volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the work of Hunting Island State Park in its conservation, education, and interpretation of the natural and cultural resources of the island.

Volunteers help protect endangered Sea Turtles, raise funds for educational programs in conjunction with Discover Carolina, and actively maintain the park’s trails, lighthouse, and beaches. Friends of Hunting Island is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization and all donations and memberships are tax deductible.

Volunteers from Friends of Hunting Island have rebuilt oyster reefs, picked up trash on the trails and on the beaches, built fire pits and trash bins, installed Dogi-Pot stations with bags for pick up, given nature talks, worked as docents at the lighthouse, marked and cleared trails, constructed playgrounds, renovated historic buildings, planted gardens, provided ADA-accessible equipment, and lobbied government agencies to support the park’s re-nourishment programs. We’re sure there’s a role you can play in Friends of Hunting Island. Click here to become a member.

The lighthouse, originally built in the 1800’s, was destroyed during the Civil War. It was rebuilt and remained in service until the 1930’s. Today, although not an active lighthouse, it still has a decorative rotating light in the tower that is turned on at night.

Hunting Island is consistently rated one of America’s top beaches. Along with the beautiful beaches, Hunting Island also boasts miles of hiking trails through maritime forests, a fishing pier that juts out 1120 feet into the Fripp Inlet, a marsh walk, a lagoon that allows for kayaking and fishing, a Nature Center that has live animal exhibits and interactive touch screens that show all of the natural habitats, a Visitors Center to introduce you to all of the different ecosystems in the park, and a camping area with easy access to the beach. Add to that a park and ranger staff that is friendly and knowledgeable and you have a vacation that has it all!