23. St. Phillips Island Ferry
Departing from the Hunting Island State Park Nature Center, the boat tour to St. Phillips Island is a naturalist-led ecotour along the Story River to the St. Phillips Island dock. Once we reach the island, a park ranger will welcome everyone to the island before boarding the tram to the beach.
You’ll have time to beach comb, hike interior trails or simply relax on the beach with a picnic. After your ramblings on this pristine barrier island, the tram will take you back to the dock for the return trip to the mainland.
For nearly 40 years, St. Phillips Island was a beach retreat for conservationist Ted Turner and his family. During that time, trails were thoughtfully carved through the maritime forest and habitats for species like fox squirrels, loggerhead sea turtles and indigo snakes were restored. With ancients dunes and a mature forest dominated by Spanish moss-draped live oaks, Southern magnolia and saw palmetto, St. Phillips Island is a nature lover’s paradise, providing critical habitat for alligators, sea turtles, bobcats and a myriad of seasonal and resident bird species, including bald eagles, roseate spoonbills and painted buntings. In 2017, Hunting Island State Park acquired St. Phillips Island.