Click here prior to your visit to Hammocks Beach State Park for the latest information on the ferry and amenities at Bear Island.
FERRY SERVICE to Bear Island is not running in April due to COVID-19. Beginning May 12, 2021 ferry service will operate on a COVID-19 modified schedule. Capacity is limited to a maximum of 20 passengers per trip. Day use passengers depart to Bear Island at 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm and tickets will have a set return time in the afternoon. Campers will depart to Bear Island at 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm ferries only. An additional 5:30pm ferry for campers ONLY will be added beginning May 29 through September 6, 2021. COVID-19 ferry protocols will be followed including wearing masks and social distancing. Please see the ferry schedule for complete information.
Bear Island bathhouse restroom facilities are open with potable (drinkable) water.
Visitor center, trails, mainland restrooms, and boat ramp 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 sound-side campsites and beachfront and sound side campsites are open for campers with transportation to the island. Campers must bring all necessities with them. See the Reservations page to make a reservation. Please note open fires are not permitted anywhere on Bear Island.
Group campsite A, B, and C are open for organized groups. Campers must have transportation to Bear Island, by canoe, kayak, or private boat.
Beachside campsites 1-11 will be CLOSED during “King Tide Events”, May 24 – 28, 2021; June 22 – 26, 2021; July 21 – 25, 2021; October 6 – 12, 2021; November 3 – 9, 2021, and December 2 – 7, 2021.A king tide occurs when the sun, earth, and moon align, resulting in exceptionally high tides. Beach erosion from hurricanes and winter storms, reduced the Bear Island primary dune and during king tides, ocean waves will be at the dunes, restricting access to campsites 1-11 for extended periods of time.
Visitor center hours: 8am – 5pm, closed for lunch 12pm – 1pm, gate hours 8am – 6pm.
1572 Hammock Beach Road
Swansboro, NC 28584
8:00am to 5:00pm
8:00am to 6:00pm
A crown jewel of the North Carolina coast and Hammocks Beach State Park is Bear Island—a 4-mile-long, undeveloped barrier island accessible by the park’s passenger ferry or private ferry, or by paddling a canoe or kayak. A wide beach between massive dunes and the ocean is interrupted only by primitive campsites and a modest concession/picnic complex. The park’s mainland gateway offers a full-service visitor center and is the launch site for ferry service, canoes or kayaks. Rent or bring your own kayaks, canoes or paddleboards to explore paddling trails leading to marshes, Bear Island or Huggins Island, which is graced with unspoiled maritime forest. Interpretive programs and extensive exhibits teach about park ecology and wildlife including endangered sea turtles and nesting shorebirds.
Hammocks Beach State Park is currently accepting applications for the following seasonal positions:
The beachfront campsites, campsites 1 to 11, at Hammocks Beach State Park will be closed during king tide events. A king tide occurs when the sun, earth, and moon align, resulting in exceptionally high tides. Beach erosion from hurricanes and winter storms reduced the Bear Island primary dune, and during king tides, ocean waves will be at the dunes, restricting access to the campsites for extended periods of time. In 2021, king tide campsite closures will occur on: April 26 to 29; May 24 to 28; June 22 to 26; July 21 to 25; October 6 to 12; November 3 to 9; and December 2 to 7.
Prior to your visit, please visit the Bear Island Current Information page for more information on ferry service, camping, and more.