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Hammocks Beach Facility Update

Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
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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


2021 ferry schedule (updated)

Current ferry protocols





Hammocks Beach Facility Update

Hammocks Beach State Park Facilities Status as of September 30, 2021:

The mainland area and hiking trails are open. Visitor Center and exhibit hall is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Gate hours: 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.  Masks are required when inside park buildings.  Mainland restrooms are open and can be accessed through the visitor center or outdoor entrances.  Bear Island is open for day use and camping, Huggins, Dudley’s, and Jones islands are open for day use and accessible by canoe, kayak, or private boat only.

Ferry Service: Ferry Service to Bear Island operates Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October on an hourly schedule beginning at 9:30 a.m.  The last ferry back to the mainland departs Bear Island at 5:00 p.m.  Masks are optional while on board the ferry.  The last day of ferry service for the 2021 season is October 31. Please note: Ferry tickets are sold in person on a first-come, first-served basis.  There are no reservations for the ferry. 

Bear Island Bathhouse Restrooms: Open with potable water through November 14, 2021 for campers and day visitors daily.  After Nov. 14, the bathhouse will be winterized and closed until the spring of 2022. 

Lifeguards: There are no lifeguards on duty for the remainder of the 2021 season. Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as rip currents and strong currents can occur at any time.

Concessions: Bear Island concession stand is closed for the remainder of 2021 season.        

Kayak Launch and Paddle Trails: Open for use.  The five paddle trails are all marked and open for adventure.  Huggins Island Loop Trail: 6 miles round trip (difficult); Bear Inlet Trail: 5.6 miles one way (difficult); Bear Island Trail: 2.7 miles one way (moderate); Queen's Creek Trail: 0.7 miles one way (easy); Trout Channel Spur: 0.4 miles, one way (moderate). Please see the paddle trail map and Hammocks Beach Trails page for additional information.

Boat Ramp: Boat ramp in the maintenance area is open daily for use. There are five parking spaces allocated for trailer parking. You must obtain a permit at the Visitor Center and pay the  boat ramp fee paid ($7). The boat ramp will be closed for ferry vessels re-fueling daily from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.--3 p.m.; Boat ramp also closed for ferry maintenance from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. **Park vessels and emergency vessels always have priority use of the boat ramp.

Camping: Bear Island beachfront campsites 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 dunes. During king tides, ocean waves reach  the dunes, restricting access to the beachfront campsites for extended periods of time.  King tide closure dates 2021: June 22 – 26; July 21 – 25; October 6 – 12; November 3 – 9, and December 2 – 7.

Camping reservations can be made 11 months in advance on-line and through the call center.  Please see the Reservations page for additional information and to make a reservation. 

Open fires are not permitted anywhere on Bear Island.  Bear Island is trash free so please pack out trash and take with you off the island.

Boat-in Only Sound Side Campsites open year-round are accessed by canoe, kayak, private boat ONLY.  There is no access to the bathhouse from these campsites.

Group campsites A, B, and C are open for organized groups only.  Please see camping page for additional group camp information.

Questions can be directed to the park office at or 910.326.4881. 

Media inquiries: Contact Katie Hall, Public Information Officer for the Division of Parks and Recreation at 919-817-3752 or