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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 »
 


 

 

 

Area information

The Hammocks Beach State Park office and ferry dock are located in Onslow County between Jacksonville and Morehead City.

From I-95, take I-40 east to NC 24. Follow NC 24 east through Jacksonville to Swansboro. Turn right onto Hammocks Beach Road. About 500 feet before the end of the road, turn right into the park entrance.

From the south, take US 17 north to Jacksonville, and turn on NC 24 east to Swansboro. Turn right onto Hammocks Beach Road. About 500 feet before the end of the road, turn right into the park entrance.

From points east, follow Highway 24 west into Swansboro. Turn left onto Old Hammocks Road. Turn left onto Hammocks Beach Road. About 500 feet before the end of the road, turn right into the park entrance.

Get directions from Google.

 

From the park office area, the passenger ferry provides transportation to Bear Island for a modest fee. The island is also accessible by private boat or marine taxi service.

The island is also accessible by private boat, canoe / kayak or marine taxi service.

 

Toll ferry

Note: the ferry schedule is available in Fees/FAQs/Rules. 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. Please refer to the schedule, or contact the park office for more information.

The 2.5-mile passenger ferry ride takes about 15 minutes and offers a glimpse of interesting wetland inhabitants, including herons and egrets. After traveling through the Intracoastal Waterway, the ferry moves through the shallow waters of Cow Channel, a channel through which cows were once herded to the island for grazing. The ferry then docks at the pier on Bear Island where a half-mile trail travels through the dune system, across the island, to the beach. This 15-minute walk is like a trip through the desert. The sand is often hot; wear protective shoes.

The park ferry operates daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day except in inclement weather. During popular summer months, a line often forms for the ferry and the island quickly reaches capacity. Arrive early in the day to avoid long delays.

 

Nearby attractions

North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources logoN.C. Maritime Museum-Beaufort
Queen Anne's Revenge
NC Aquarium-Pine Knoll Shores
Historic Halifax
Tryon Palace