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Camping

Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
CONTINUING CLOSURES DUE TO COVID-19 EXPOSURE   

The visitor center, ferry service, and camping are closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the park and several staff in quarantine. Camping will not resume until at least October 21. Check here for updates.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Status of Park Facilities as of September 23, 2020   

LIMITED FERRY SERVICE to Bear Island opening September 25, 2020 with COVID Restrictions.  Operating Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 25, 2020.  Captain, crew, and all passengers must wear face coverings.  Vessels will be restricted to a maximum of 20 passengers and cleaned after each trip to/from Bear Island.  Hand sanitizer will be available with “no touch” application.  Please see COVID-19 Ferry Schedule for additional information.

Visitor center, trails, restrooms, boat ramp, and Bear Island bathhouse with potable water 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 campsites are open for campers with transportation to Bear Island. Ferry service is available on a limited basis for campers please see the ferry schedule for additional information.  See the Reservations page to make a reservation.

Group campsite A is open for organized groups. Group campers will be assigned ferry departure/pick-up times when reservation is confirmed if using ferry serviceOtherwise, campers must have transportation to Bear Island; by canoe, kayak, or private boat. 

Visitor center hours:  8am – 5pm, closed for lunch 12pm – 1pm (except for ferry service days), gate hours 8am – 6pm. 

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

 Last updated on: Wednesday, September 23, 2020


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
 

Beginning on September 25, 2020, the ferry will be running on a limited basis through October 25, 2020. The ferry will be running on Fridays to Sundays only.

Morning departures from the mainland are for day-use passengers only, and afternoon departures are for campers only.

Masks are required at all times while on the ferry. The ferry will have a limit of 20 passengers per trip.

 

Modified ferry schedule for COVID-19 »
 


 

 

 

Camping

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT AMENITIES:

Not all campsites have identical amenities. Read the campsite information on the reservations website to see photos of campsites; check availability and fees; find out whether a specific site is wheelchair accessible, has access to water, bathouses or pit toilets, or has electric hookup; and learn other important information.

 

Backpack and group camping*

*All camping sites are located on Bear Island and are accessible via ferry, private boat or paddling only.

Primitive campsites are located near the beach and the inlet. Fourteen family campsites accommodate six people and two tents each.

Light and simple is the way to travel as campers must carry all provisions to the campsites from the beach or ferry dock.

Campsite
Distance from ferry dock (miles)
1
0.6
2
0.65
3
0.7
4
0.75
5
0.8
6
0.85
7
0.9
8
0.95
9
1.0
10
1.05
11
1.1

 

There are three group campsites, available to affiliated groups only; one accommodates up to 26 people, while the other two accommodate up to 16 people each. Group campsites are reserved locally at Hammocks Beach State Park.


Thumbnail of Hammocks Beach group campsite reservation form
     

Hammocks Beach State Park
Bear Island group campsites
Reservation form (.pdf)


Due to sand migration in the channel that 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.

Campsites are open year-round. Water and other facilities are available on the island, except from mid-November through mid-March when the facilities are winterized.

Fires are not permitted, and campers must remove all trash. Camping is permitted only on numbered sites and permits must be obtained from the park office on the mainland.

Campers must register in the park office on the mainland before going to Bear Island. All vehicles left in the parking lot overnight must be registered at the park office or they are subject to towing.

 

Watch this video for some tips and information regarding camping at Bear Island:

 

NOTE – Gate access for campers:

Park gates are closed and locked at posted closing times for your protection. There will be no exiting or entering the gates after the closing time. All visitors who are not spending the night need to be out by closing time. If you leave the park and do not return before closing time, you will not be able to re-enter. Check with the park office during office hours for the after-hours emergency phone number.