At Huntington Beach State Park, it’s all about the beach and the birds. This park is known for is gorgeous expanse of protected beach and the 300+ species of birds seen at the park throughout the year. Huntington Beach State Parks boasts 2,500 acres of trails, marsh, wildlife, and campgrounds that is relatively under-utilized. This dog friendly park is one that you may not see many people on the trails, and that is a rare gift indeed.
If you’re interested in a casual day-hike, Huntington Beach State Park is a great place to be. Situated in Murrells Inlet, this park boasts beautiful maritime forests and stretches of boardwalk over the saltwater marsh. Not to mention the 3 miles of pristine beach that awaits you there. For the hiking possibilities, there are more than a few options, as the boardwalks extend in all directions. The two main trails are the Sandpiper Pond Trail at 2 miles and the Kerrigan Nature trail at .25 miles. Both of these give the opportunity to see wildlife such as alligators, mink, and loggerhead sea turtles. Red cypress will surround you as you meander through the park, and the smell of dark pluff mud will greet your senses. A true smell of the coastal South. In the warmer months especially, don’t forget your water as the temperatures tend to soar. If you feel like making a day of it, bring along a lunch as there are picnic tables available in the park as well.
What Makes it Great
Huntington Beach State Park is known for its birds, and the occasional mink. There are plenty opportunities for wildlife sightings here, so pack the binoculars. As for the beach, it’s one of the best preserved in the whole state. Whether you are going for a walk in the sand or just going to sunbathe, this park will stick with you.
What You Will Remember
This is a state park that is said to be less busy than the rest during the peak season. So, if you want to go somewhere that perhaps has less foot traffic, this is an option. You will remember having a trail to yourself, and being absorbed by everything the saltmarsh and the maritime forest has to offer. Don’t forget to pack bug spray and sunscreen!
Who is Going to Love It<
The hiker that wants to mix their love of wildlife with their exercise. Hop from beach to trail in Huntington Beach State Park, and watch out for the alligators while you’re at it. The avid birder will want to bring the camera and the binoculars, because the plethora of bird species in the park is notorious. If you’re tempted to stay the night and tack on an extra day in the park, stay at one of their several tent or RV sites. Don’t worry, if you need to freshen up, they have hot showers and restrooms.
Trailhead, Parking, and Hours
Huntington Beach State Park is located at 16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet SC. There is ample parking within Huntington Beach State Park and the hours of operation are as follows: Monday-Sunday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (During daylight savings time open until 10 p.m.) For more information, visit the South Carolina State Parks website.