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Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
Bear Island Current Information   

Ferry Schedule:

September Ferry Schedule Wednesday – Sunday
The September ferry schedule is Wednesday through Sunday hourly beginning at 9:30 with the last ferry departing Bear Island at 5:00 pm.  Please see the ferry schedule link at left for the complete schedule. Ferry tickets typically sell out early in the day on weekends. Arrive early in the day to purchase tickets.

Indoor showers on Bear Island will be open to campers from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. each day, drinking water, outdoor showers and restroom facilities are open daily 24/7. 

Pets are not permitted on the ferry, also note that carts and wagons are not permitted on the ferry unless collapsible.  The ferry captain reserves the right to request wagons and carts are emptied until passengers get off the ferry.
 
ADA accessibility to Bear Island is currently unavailable due to the required dock repairs scheduled after the close of the 2017 ferry season.  Partial temporary repairs were completed in the spring to ensure the safety of passengers however, until permanent repairs are completed there will not be ADA accessibility.  We apologize for any inconvenience and expect normal ferry service operations and ADA accessibility in 2018.
 
No lifeguards will be on duty for the remainder of the 2017 ferry season.  Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as rip currents and strong currents can occur at any time. Additionally, the concession stand is closed for the rest of the 2017 ferry season as well.  Please be sure to bring any soft drinks and snacks with you to the island.  
 
Bear Island Emergency Phone System Out Of Service
The emergency phone system on Bear Island is currently out of service.  In the event of an emergency after hours please use your cell phone as cellular service from most carriers is available.  Electrical outlets are available at the bathhouse to charge a cell phone.

Contact the park office at hammocks.beach@ncparks.gov or 910.326.4881 with questions.

 Posted on: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 5:07pm
Bear Island Beachfront Camping Closed September 22 – 26, 2017   

Due to impacts from Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Maria, campsites 1 through 11 will be closed Friday, September 22 through Tuesday, September 26, 2017.  Based on Maria’s current track the wave height and storm surge is expected to increase beginning on Friday and will peak on Monday at 6 to 9 feet creating unsafe conditions including campsites over wash, and little to no beachfront to walk to the bathhouse during the hours surrounding high tide.  Additionally, beach erosion from the storms have caused a scarp or drop off to form.  Visitors should use caution when walking the beachfront to avoid injury.  Boat-In only campsites 12 through 14 will remain open and ferry service is expected to operate on the regular September schedule.

Please contact the park office at hammocks.beach@ncparks.gov or 910.326.4881 with any questions.

 Posted on: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 11:24am
Directions

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.

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.

Get directions from Google.

Contact:

Hammocks Beach State Park

1572 Hammocks Beach Road
SwansboroNC 28584
Phone910-326-4881
hammocks.beach@ncparks.gov
Latitude: 34.671000
Longitude: -77.142900

Park Hours:

September - May: 8am - 6pm
June - August: 8am - 7pm
Closed Christmas Day

Park Office
September - May: 8am - 5pm daily
June - August: 8am - 6pm daily

Closed Christmas Day