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Events and Programs

Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
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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



Visitor center

1572 Hammock Beach Road
Swansboro, NC 28584

GPS: 34.6710, -77.1429



  • 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







Scheduled events

Hammocks Beach State Park offers a variety of learning opportunities for all ages. Typically led by park rangers, these interpretive programs allow the public to gain perspective into what makes North Carolina state parks naturally wonderful. ​

Most of the events are free, though some require pre-registration. All give park visitors deeper insight into the natural world. Call the park office for more information.


Oysters once were numerous enough in North Carolina’s coastal waters to be called hazards to navigation.  The humble oyster reef grows more living marine life than a coral reef!  Meet at the kayak dock behind the visitor center for a up close look at oysters and how they benefit people and the environment.

NOTE:  In case of rain, this program will be moved to the exhibit hall.

Date of Event:
Sun, 05/22/2022 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Start Location:
Visitor Center

Enjoy this ranger-guided trip through the adjacent marsh water as we explore some of the ecosystems which make this part of North Carolina so special.  Kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets will be provided.  Must be 13 years and older to participate.

Space is limited; REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED by contacting the park office: (910) 326-4881.

Date of Event:
Wed, 05/25/2022 - 8:30am to 11:00am
Start Location:
Visitor Center

Join a ranger on Bear Island and explore the beach with this walk to see evidence of past storms, fossil rock outcrops, geology, and barrier island migration… in real time!

NOTE: Meet at the Bear Island Bath House. (Ferry ticket purchase is required to attend this program).

Date of Event:
Sun, 05/29/2022 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Start Location:
Bear Island Bath House

Come out to the park to learn about these wave skimmers that frequent the waters around Hammocks Beach State Park giving us a playful show almost daily. We will talk about their natural history, threats, and any conservation efforts there are to protect these beautiful creatures. There is so much we can learn from them!

NOTE: Program will be at Bear Island Concession Stand. FERRY TICKET PURCHASE IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND PROGRAM.

Date of Event:
Tue, 05/31/2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Start Location:
Bear Island Concession Stand