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Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
Status of Park Facilities as of August 13, 2022   

Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend ferry service to Bear Island operates daily.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday hourly and Thursday through Sunday every 30 minutes from 9:30 until 5:30. Please see the 2022 ferry schedule link for the complete schedule of departure days and times.  Ferry tickets are sold in person on a first-come, first-served basis; there are no reservations for the ferry. Please see ferry sales and boarding procedure for additional information.  Tickets can sell out early in the day on weekends, plan to arrive early in the day to purchase tickets. Pets are not permitted on the ferry.

Visitor center, exhibit hall, trails, restrooms, and the boat ramp are open daily.  Masks are optional in all park buildings. 

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

Beachside and sound side campsites are open.  Beachside campsites can be accessed by ferry, when operating, canoe, kayak, or private boat.  Sound side campsites are accessible only by canoe, kayak, or private boat.  Please see the Reservations page to make a reservation.  Open fires are not permitted anywhere on Bear Island.

The concession stand is OPEN daily through Labor Day weekend with drinks and snacks and is CASH ONLY.

Lifeguards are on duty weekends only as staffing permits through Labor Day weekend.  Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as strong currents and rip currents can occur at any time. 

Visitor center hours:  8am – 6pm, Gate Hours 8am – 7pm. 

 Last updated on: Saturday, August 13, 2022

Lifeguards on Duty Weekends Only through Labor Day   

There will be no lifeguards on duty Monday - Friday through September 5, 2022.  Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as strong currents and rip currents can occur at any time.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

 Last updated on: Saturday, August 13, 2022


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
 

FERRY SCHEDULE 2022

FERRY TICKET SALES AND BOARDING PROCEDURE INFORMATION


 

 

 

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.