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Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park

The visitor center, ferry service, and camping are closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the park and several staff in quarantine. Camping will not resume until at least October 21. Check here for updates.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Status of Park Facilities as of September 23, 2020   

LIMITED FERRY SERVICE to Bear Island opening September 25, 2020 with COVID Restrictions.  Operating Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 25, 2020.  Captain, crew, and all passengers must wear face coverings.  Vessels will be restricted to a maximum of 20 passengers and cleaned after each trip to/from Bear Island.  Hand sanitizer will be available with “no touch” application.  Please see COVID-19 Ferry Schedule for additional information.

Visitor center, trails, restrooms, boat ramp, and Bear Island bathhouse with potable water 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 campsites are open for campers with transportation to Bear Island. Ferry service is available on a limited basis for campers please see the ferry schedule for additional information.  See the Reservations page to make a reservation.

Group campsite A is open for organized groups. Group campers will be assigned ferry departure/pick-up times when reservation is confirmed if using ferry serviceOtherwise, campers must have transportation to Bear Island; by canoe, kayak, or private boat. 

Visitor center hours:  8am – 5pm, closed for lunch 12pm – 1pm (except for ferry service days), gate hours 8am – 6pm. 

Please see the Hammocks Beach Updates Page or for additional information.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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


Beginning on September 25, 2020, the ferry will be running on a limited basis through October 25, 2020. The ferry will be running on Fridays to Sundays only.

Morning departures from the mainland are for day-use passengers only, and afternoon departures are for campers only.

Masks are required at all times while on the ferry. The ferry will have a limit of 20 passengers per trip.


Modified ferry schedule for COVID-19 »




Hammocks Beach State Park

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.


Find and book a campsite or facility online

Or make your reservation at 1-877-722-6762

Notices and alerts

Status of park facilities

Prior to your visit, please visit the Bear Island Current Information page for more information on ferry service, camping, and more.

Current weather

28584 Swansboro, NC





Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 8:00am
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 1:30pm
Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 1:30pm

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