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Trails

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

The October ferry schedule is Friday, Saturday and Sunday hourly beginning at 9:30 am and the last ferry departs from Bear Island at 5:00 pm.  Masks are optional on board the ferry. The last day of ferry service for the 2021 season is October 31, 2021.  Please see the ferry schedule for complete information.

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 restroom facilities are open daily with potable (drinkable) water.  On November 15, 2021, the bathhouse will be CLOSED and winterized until the spring of 2022. The concession stand is CLOSED for the season and there are NO LIFEGUARDS on duty.  Please swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as rip currents and strong currents can occur at any time.

Visitor center, exhibit hall, trails, mainland restrooms, and the boat ramp are open daily.  The boat ramp will be closed from 9–10am and 2-3pm for ferry re-fueling as well as Mondays and Tuesdays from 9am – 11am for ferry vessel maintenance.  Masks are required in all park buildings. 

Bear Island is open for day use and the Bear Island beachfront and sound side campsites are open for campers.  Sound side campsites are not accessible by ferry and have no access to the bathhouse.  Sound-side campers must have transportation to the island by canoe, kayak, or private boat and 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.

Beachside campsites will be CLOSED during “King Tide Events”, 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, Gate Hours 8am – 6pm. 

 Last updated on: Friday, October 22, 2021


Map of North Carolina


Contact the park
 

910-326-4881

hammocks.beach@ncparks.gov
 

Address
 

Visitor center

1572 Hammock Beach Road
Swansboro, NC 28584

GPS: 34.6710, -77.1429
 

Hours
 

► 

  • 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
     

Ferry
 

2021 ferry schedule (updated)

Current ferry protocols

 


 

 

 

List of trails

Enjoy three well-marked paddle trails, ranging from 200 yards to more than six miles.

 


Beach at Bear Island
Location: Bear Island

Description:

While Bear Island does not have designated walking trails, the beach is always available for hikes. There are also trails available on the mainland.


Surface: sand

Length:
4.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:

Bear Inlet Trail
Location: Starts at the kayak launch to Bear Island ending at Bear Inlet on the western side of the island

Description:

Saltmarsh paddle considered difficult due to length, strong currents, and proximity to powerboat channels.


Surface: water (paddle trail)

Length:
5.60 miles
one way
Difficulty:
difficult paddle
Blaze:
orange over white

Bear Island Trail
Location: Starts at the kayak launch and ends at the Bear Island campsites

Description:

Saltmarsh paddle affected by strong currents, tide changes, and wind. Portage possibilities at low tide.


Surface: water (paddle trail)

Length:
2.60 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate paddle
Blaze:
white over orange

Coastal Fringe Trail
Location: Spurs off the Evergreen Trail

Description:

Coastal upland forest trail with three boardwalks across wet drainages


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.80 miles
loop
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
red circles

Evergreen Trail
Location: Spurs off the Live Oak Trail

Description:

Coastal evergreen forest trail that will soon connect through to the FFA Camp Road


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
blue circles