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Hammocks Beach Facility Update as of May 1, 2021

Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
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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


2021 ferry schedule

Current ferry protocols





Hammocks Beach Facility Update as of May 1, 2021

The mainland area and hiking trails are open. Visitor Center is open from 8am – 5pm, closed 12-1pm for lunch, gate hours: 8am-6pm.  Masks are required to enter buildings and social distancing should be practiced.  Mainland restrooms are open and can be accessed through the visitor center or outdoor entrances.  Bear, Huggins, Dudley’s, and Jones Islands are open for day use and accessible by canoe, kayak, or private boat only.

FERRY SERVICE to Bear Island will begin May 12, 2021 and operate 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 Restrooms Open with Potable Water

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

No lifeguards on duty Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as rip currents and strong currents can occur at any time.

Bear Island Concession Stand Closed.  Please bring any drinks and snacks with you when visiting Bear Island.    

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 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.  **Park vessels and emergency vessels will have priority use.


Bear Island Beachfront campsites 1-11 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 campsites 1-11 for extended periods of time.  NC King Tides and campsite closures will take place:  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.

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. 

Please note there is no ferry service to/from Bear Island until May 12, 2021.  Campers who wish to access camping will need to secure transportation to Bear Island by canoe, kayak, or private boat.

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. Group campers will be assigned ferry departure and pick-up times at check-in if using ferry serviceOtherwise, campers must have transportation to Bear Island, by canoe, kayak, or private boat.  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