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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 July 9, 2021

The mainland area and hiking trails are open. Visitor Center and exhibit hall is open from 8am – 5pm, gate hours: 8am-6pm.  Masks are encouraged to be worn in 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.

Due to an ease in COVID-19 restrictions, FERRY SERVICE to Bear Island has returned to a normal schedule, operating 7 days a week through September 6, 2021.  Hourly Monday – Wednesday and every 30 minutes Thursday-Sunday beginning at 9:30 with the last ferry off Bear Island at 6:00 pm. Masks are no longer required while on board the ferry. The restrictions for specific departure and return times for day use passengers and campers have been cancelled as well.

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

Restrooms are available for campers and day visitors, along with drinking water at the Bear Island Bathhouse daily. 

Lifeguards on duty Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as staffing permits.  Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as rip currents and strong currents can occur at any time.

Bear Island Concession Stand Open daily from 10am – 5pm through September 6, 2021, with drinks and snacks.  CASH ONLY no credit cards accepted.      

Kayak Launch is Open

The kayak launch is open for use along with all the paddle trails.  The five paddle trails are all remarked 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 is Open

The boat ramp in the maintenance area is open daily for use, please go to visitor center to obtain a pass and pay fee.  There are five (5) parking spaces allocated for trailer parking and a permit must be obtained and a boat ramp fee paid ($7) to use the boat ramp.  The boat ramp will be closed for ferry vessels re-fueling daily from 9am – 10am and 2pm-3pm and from 9am – 11am for ferry maintenance on Mondays and Tuesdays. **Park vessels and emergency vessels will have priority use.


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 dune and during king tides, ocean waves will be at the dunes, restricting access to the beachfront campsites for extended periods of time.  NC King Tides and campsite closures will take place: June 22 – 26, 2021; July 21 – 25, 2021; October 6 – 12, 2021; November 3 – 9, 2021, and December 2 – 7, 2021.

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.

The use of white lights on the beach front at night is prohibited due to the sea turtle nesting season.  Please use a red lens on flashlights while on the beachfront.

Please be aware of and do not enter the colonial nesting bird areas at each end of Bear Island.  Nesting season is from April – August.

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 should be sent to Katie Hall, Public Information Officer for the Division of Parks and Recreation at 919-817-3752 or