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Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
Status of Park Facilities as of September 30, 2021   

The October ferry schedule is Friday, Saturday and Sunday hourly beginning at 9:30 am and the last ferry departs from Bear Island at 5:00 pm.  Masks are optional on board the ferry. The last day of ferry service for the 2021 season is October 31, 2021.  Please see the ferry schedule for complete information.

Please Note:  Ferry tickets are sold in person on a first come first served basis.  There are no reservations for the ferry.

Bear Island bathhouse restroom facilities are open daily with potable (drinkable) water.  On November 15, 2021, the bathhouse will be CLOSED and winterized until the spring of 2022. The concession stand is CLOSED for the season and there are NO LIFEGUARDS on duty.  Please swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as rip currents and strong currents can occur at any time.

Visitor center, exhibit hall, trails, mainland restrooms, and the boat ramp are open daily.  The boat ramp will be closed from 9–10am and 2-3pm for ferry re-fueling as well as Mondays and Tuesdays from 9am – 11am for ferry vessel maintenance.  Masks are required in all park buildings. 

Bear Island is open for day use and the Bear Island beachfront and sound side campsites are open for campers.  Sound side campsites are not accessible by ferry and have no access to the bathhouse.  Sound-side campers must have transportation to the island by canoe, kayak, or private boat and 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.

Beachside campsites will be CLOSED during “King Tide Events”, 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, Gate Hours 8am – 6pm. 

 Last updated on: Friday, October 22, 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 (updated)

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.