Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

Directions

Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
Status of Park Facilities as of May 3, 2022   

May ferry service to Bear Island operates Wednesday through Sunday hourly from 9:30 until 4:30.  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. Tickets can sell out early in the day on weekends.  Arrive early in the day to purchase tickets.

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

2022 Annual passes are available at the visitor center for $90.  Good for up to 6 ferry tickets or boat ramp use per day.

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 CLOSED and will re-open along with lifeguards on duty Memorial Day weekend.  Please swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as rip currents and strong currents can occur at any time.

Visitor center hours:  8am – 5pm, Gate Hours 8am – 6pm.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, May 3, 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


 

 

 

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