Renovations at Huntington State Park still a work in progress - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Renovations at Huntington State Park still a work in progress

Since January, Huntington State Park officials have completed some renovations to the park, and are working on others. Source: Katrina Helmer Since January, Huntington State Park officials have completed some renovations to the park, and are working on others. Source: Katrina Helmer
ADA additions have been completed for the restrooms and campground. Source:  Katrina Helmer ADA additions have been completed for the restrooms and campground. Source: Katrina Helmer
The park is also expected to add 50 more campsites to the 133 existing sites. Source: Katrina Helmer The park is also expected to add 50 more campsites to the 133 existing sites. Source: Katrina Helmer
Source: Katrina Helmer Source: Katrina Helmer

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – This summer, you'll see some major changes at local campgrounds, including Huntington State Park, where renovations are underway.

The first major difference you'll see for campers is a handicap-accessible bathroom. Donations left from visitors, along with money raised and state funds, made the bathroom possible. It may seem like a simple addition, but it's making a big difference to families.

J.W. Weatherford, the Assistant Park Manger, said they are happy to provide to visitors “the privacy you can get from going into a restroom that, you know, is closed and locked and you can do whatever your family needs are.”

Weatherford explained some campers have adult children with disabilities, and it made those families uncomfortable to bring their son or daughter into the opposing genders' bathroom in order to aide them.

The Assistant Park Manager said the new ADA addition to the bathroom was designed out of necessity and has had a lot of use as soon as it opened. It will be reserved only for those staying in the handicap sites.

The next step in renovations is adding more campsites. Of the largest coastal state parks, Huntington has the fewest campsites, which are almost always booked up. The plan is to add 50 more campsites near Atalaya, which was actually the original site for the campground. This means it fits into the original footprint of the park, and will not require the removal of trees.

Those sites will be full service with more amp power for bigger, newer RVs, along with a brand new shower house and restroom.

“Hopefully it will alleviate some of the supply problems that we are having. As we fill up so frequently, it's hard for our visitors to be able to come in and get campsites,” Weatherford said.

Without those campsites, from now until Labor Day, nearly every single day is booked at Huntington State Park. The park is now using a new way to price their campsites, called ”dynamic pricing.”

It kicked off in the beginning of March this year and is similar to a rate structure for a hotel or airline. As the occupancy gets to 85 to 95 percent, the price for a campsite goes up a bit.

The flip side of that is if you book when less than 40 percent of the sites are booked, or well in advance of your trip, you pay less. This is especially helpful for return campers. If you go and fall in love with a certain site and want to return the next year during the same time, you can book your reservation up to 13 months in advance.

Since starting this new system this year, the park has already had campers take advantage of this booking system.

“What we try to do when people are thinking about making a reservation, we try to lock them in as soon as they can. Because the longer they wait and it gets closer and closer to your date, and the occupancy fills up, that's when the price will go up,” Weatherford explained.

Depending on the type of site and services you're looking for, the base rate is between $26 and $49 a night. The assistant Park Manager says he hopes this new pay structure will open up more sites for more people to stay and enjoy the park.

In addition, a new boardwalk is in place; it's the latest project on a list of renovations for the local park, giving you a safer way to get on the sand.

Every single board has been replaced on the 200-foot path, which is constantly traveled, as it is one of the busiest beach access points on the South Strand.

The stairs are also new to go over the dunes, which helps to protect the environment. This beach access at Huntington State Park is one of the main access points for Georgetown county residents. The park is making sure none of those boards are broken for your next beach trip.

The saltwater environment and salty air does damage on wood and in the last three years, the park renovated all three of the main beach access points.

The state gave the park the funds for these renovations, and the lumber was donated by a lumber yard outside of Columbia.

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