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Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
Status of Park Facilities as of January 5, 2021   

FERRY SERVICE to Bear Island does not operate in January, February, or March.  Park staff hope to operate the regular ferry schedule beginning in April 2021.

Beachside campsites 1-11 are currently CLOSED due to beach erosion.  During periods of high tide there is no beachfront and campsites are inaccessible and may be unsafe. 

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

The bathhouse on Bear Island is CLOSED and winterized, this includes rest room facilities and potable water. 

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

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

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: Tuesday, January 5, 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
 

Ferry service is not available in the off-season. Please check back in the spring for the 2021 ferry schedule.

 


 

 

 

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

Park Maps and Brochures:

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 5:30pm
Monday, January 18, 2021 - 2:00pm
Friday, January 22, 2021 - 2:00pm