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Trails

Kayaking at Hammocks Beach State Park
Status of Park Facilities as of August 13, 2022   

Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend ferry service to Bear Island operates daily.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday hourly and Thursday through Sunday every 30 minutes from 9:30 until 5:30. Please see the 2022 ferry schedule link for the complete schedule of departure days and times.  Ferry tickets are sold in person on a first-come, first-served basis; there are no reservations for the ferry. Please see ferry sales and boarding procedure for additional information.  Tickets can sell out early in the day on weekends, plan to arrive early in the day to purchase tickets. Pets are not permitted on the ferry.

Visitor center, exhibit hall, trails, restrooms, and the boat ramp are open daily.  Masks are optional in all park buildings. 

Bear Island bathhouse restroom facilities are open daily with potable (drinkable) water. 

Beachside and sound side campsites are open.  Beachside campsites can be accessed by ferry, when operating, canoe, kayak, or private boat.  Sound side campsites are accessible only by canoe, kayak, or private boat.  Please see the Reservations page to make a reservation.  Open fires are not permitted anywhere on Bear Island.

The concession stand is OPEN daily through Labor Day weekend with drinks and snacks and is CASH ONLY.

Lifeguards are on duty weekends only as staffing permits through Labor Day weekend.  Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as strong currents and rip currents can occur at any time. 

Visitor center hours:  8am – 6pm, Gate Hours 8am – 7pm. 

 Last updated on: Saturday, August 13, 2022

Lifeguards on Duty Weekends Only through Labor Day   

There will be no lifeguards on duty Monday - Friday through September 5, 2022.  Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as strong currents and rip currents can occur at any time.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

 Last updated on: Saturday, August 13, 2022


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
 

FERRY SCHEDULE 2022

FERRY TICKET SALES AND BOARDING PROCEDURE INFORMATION


 

 

 

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