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Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
Status of Park Facilities as of April 13, 2021   

FERRY SERVICE to Bear Island is not running in April due to COVID-19. Beginning May 12, 2021 ferry service will operate on a COVID-19 modified schedule.  Capacity is limited to a maximum of 20 passengers per trip.  Day use passengers depart to Bear Island at 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm and tickets will have a set return time in the afternoon.  Campers will depart to Bear Island at 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm ferries only. An additional 5:30pm ferry for campers ONLY will be added beginning May 29 through September 6, 2021. COVID-19 ferry protocols will be followed including wearing masks and social distancing.  Please see the ferry schedule for complete information.

Bear Island bathhouse restroom facilities are open with potable (drinkable) water.

Visitor center, trails, mainland restrooms, and boat ramp are open daily.  Masks must be worn in buildings and social distancing should be practiced. 

Bear Island is open for day use and Bear Island sound-side campsites and beachfront and sound side campsites are open for campers with transportation to the island. Campers must bring all necessities with them. See the Reservations page to make a reservation.  Please note open fires are not permitted anywhere on Bear Island.

Group campsite A, B, and C are open for organized groups. Campers must have transportation to Bear Island, by canoe, kayak, or private boat. 

Beachside campsites 1-11 will be CLOSED during “King Tide Events”, April 26 – 29, 2021; May 24 – 28, 2021; June 22 – 26, 2021; July 21 – 25, 2021; October 6 – 12, 2021; November 3 – 9, 2021, and December 2 – 7, 2021.A king tide occurs when the sun, earth, and moon align, resulting in exceptionally high tides.  Beach erosion from hurricanes and winter storms, reduced the Bear Island primary dune and during king tides, ocean waves will be at the dunes, restricting access to campsites 1-11 for extended periods of time.

Visitor center hours:  8am – 5pm, closed for lunch 12pm – 1pm, gate hours 8am – 6pm. 

Please see the Hammocks Beach Updates Page or www.ncparks.gov/open for additional information.

 Last updated on: Saturday, April 17, 2021


Map of North Carolina


Contact the park
 

910-326-4881

hammocks.beach@ncparks.gov
 

Address
 

Visitor center

1572 Hammock Beach Road
Swansboro, NC 28584

GPS: 34.6710, -77.1429
 

Hours
 

► 

  • September to May:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • June to August:
    8:00am to 7:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • September to May:

Open daily:
​8:00am to 5:00pm
 

  • June to August:

Open daily:
8:00am to 6:00pm
 

  • Closed Christmas Day
     

Ferry
 

2021 ferry schedule

Current ferry protocols

 


 

 

 

Things to do

Boating

Journey to the island by private boat or marine taxi. Boats may be beached or tied at the island bulkhead, but please do not dock along the ferry pier. When traveling to the island by boat, navigate along the ferry route; boating in the inlet can be dangerous.

Canoeists and kayakers may reach Bear Island and explore the marsh by way of a designated canoe trail. Markers placed along the route indicate points of interest along the way. See the Trails page for more information.

Hidden Coast Adventure is a seasonal concessionaire at the park who offers kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddle board tours and rentals. Please view their website at paddlenc.com or contact them by phone at 910-612-3297 for additional information.

Due to sand migration in the channel the ferry uses to transport visitors to Bear Island, the ferry schedule can change on a daily basis. The ferry schedule is under Fees/FAQs/Rules, or please call the park for more information.

Fishing

Puppy drum, flounder, trout and blue fish are frequent catches on Bear Island. Fishing at Hammocks Beach is a favorite pastime in all seasons but is particularly good in the fall.

A Coastal Recreational Fishing License is required to fish in North Carolina.  There is no fishing access on the mainland.

Swimming

Take a dip or catch a wave. A portion of the beach is a designated swimming area. There are lifeguards on duty in the designated swimming area most days from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Picnicking

Pack a picnic to enjoy under a covered shelter that offers respite from the sun. A concession stand provides cold drinks and snacks from Memorial Day through Labor Day.