Photo above: Kylie Granet, left, and Belinda Hudson, fill the shelves and racks with Hunting Island clothing and other memorabilia t the Hunting Island Park Store. Photos by Bob Sofaly.
By Amy Rigard
Ten months after Hurricane Matthew devastated Hunting Island State Park, forcing it to close its campground, campers are pitching their tents on the island once again as of Aug. 4.
“When folks come back to the campground for the first time in almost a year, we want them to know they’ll be welcomed with open arms,” said SC State Parks Director Phil Gaines.
After passing all necessary tests to reopen the campground, the S.C. State Park Service announced Aug. 1 that the site would reopen for the season Aug. 4. State park officials hoped to open the sites earlier this summer, but significant rain affected the schedule.
The 88 camping sites in the area closest to the beach will remain closed for the foreseeable future because salt water got into the electrical services.
The park’s remaining 110 campsites reopened with improved electrical and water service, and four comfort stations have been completely revamped.
Salt water also got into the plumbing system of the park as a whole.
Additionally, grills were upended, signs were twisted and downed, picnic tables were destroyed and trees fell on top of the bathrooms.
The campground was hit especially hard, and visitors returning will notice that the site looks slightly different. Oceanfront campsites lost to the storm aren’t expected to be replaced, so other sites will have more of an ocean view.
“We’re very excited to reopen the campsite and look forward to bringing more visitors back to Hunting Island and Beaufort County,” said Gaines.
Campsites can be reserved by calling 866-345-7275 or the park at 843-838-2011. Reservations can also be made online at www.southcarolinaparks.com.