Huntington Beach State Park

During our recent trip to Murrells Inlet we spent a few hours at Huntington Beach State Park.  It is a gorgeous park that is crawling with wildlife and so much untouched beauty.  It was freezing cold on the day that we chose to visit, but we didn’t let that stop us.  We bundled up and headed for the beach first.

Jeremy and the Colossus
Jeremy and the Colossus

Jeremy and his colussus  caught some great shots of the birds, including the super fun Valentine’s Day pelican picture.

Seagull
A very cold seagull

We met some people on the beach and they told us about a trail leading out to a boardwalk.  We headed off in that direction.  The outlook offered a marsh view that was loaded with herons, egrets, and ducks.

Huntington Beach State Park
View from the Trail

We even got to see an egret catch a fish.  It was honestly kind of disturbing.  Their jaws are really loud when they clamp shut.

Egrit with fish
Oh, nature.

Next we moved on to another marsh outlook.  That’s where we caught a glimpse of these beauties.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers

The dock was also surrounded by good-sized fish.  No fishing is allowed though, so they are only good for looking at.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-Crested Cormorant  I had no idea these had such gorgeous eyes

From the boardwalk we headed over to Atalaya, which was the Huntington’s winter home.  Anna Hyatt Huntington was diagnosed with tuberculosis so they thought warmer winter conditions would help her health.  Major blogger fail: Atalaya was closed by the time we got to that side of the park, but this is what the outside looks like.  :)

Atalaya
My one and only terrible picture of Atalaya.

A super short and condensed background about the Huntingtons:  They were loaded.  When they moved to the South due to Anna’s condition they purchased over 9,000 acres including 3 plantation homes.  They rejuvenated the land and created Brookgreen Gardens which is directly across the highway from Huntington Beach State Park.  Anna was a famous American sculptor and many of her works  are on display in the gardens.  Her husband built her a “castle” by the sea: Atalaya.  Upon Archer Huntington’s death the land was leased to the state to be used as a park.

Alligator

We continued our walk and found a swamp outlook that again was full of beautiful wildlife.  A menagerie of birds, vegetation, and an alligator.  We snapped pictures until the sinking sun would no longer allow it.

Red-Winged Blackbird
Red-Winged Blackbird

I highly recommend checking out Huntington Beach State Park if you’re ever in the area.  I’m sure there would be even more to see on a warm day when the creatures are more active.

Post written by