Camping at Hammocks Beach State Park

Available Camping Facilities

Tab/Accordion Items

Bear Island Only

Primitive campsites are located near the beach and the inlet at Bear Island. Fourteen family campsites accommodate up to six people and two tents each. Campsites 1 to 11 are accessible via ferry, private boat or paddling only. Campsites 12 to 14 are accessible by private boat or paddling only and are not hikeable.

Sites 1 to 11 have a picnic table, while sites 12 to 14 do not. Fires are not permitted at Bear Island, but campers may bring propane or backpack camp stoves. 

Water and a bathhouse with hot showers is located at Bear Island, but is available from only mid-March through mid-November. There is no water at Bear Island when the facilities are winterized.

Hike-In Distance

Light and simple is the way to travel, as campers must carry all provisions to the campsites from the beach or ferry dock.

Campsite Distance from ferry dock in miles
1 0.6 mile
2 0.65 mile
3 0.7 mile
4 0.75 mile
5 0.8 mile
6 0.85 mile
7 0.9 mile
8 0.95 mile
9 1.0 mile
10 1.05 miles
11 1.1 miles
12 to 14 cannot be reached by hiking; paddle-in or private boat only

 

Registration

Campers must register at the visitor center on the mainland before going to Bear Island. All vehicles left in the parking lot overnight must be registered at the visitor office or be subject to towing.

Ferry Tickets

With the purchase of initial ferry tickets and multiple nights of camping, campers are permitted one free round-trip ferry ride per day. Current camp permit with an attached receipt for ferry tickets must be presented at the visitor center to receive ferry tickets at no charge.

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Bear Island Only

There are three group campsites at Bear Island. These campsites are available to organized or affiliated groups only.

Site A accommodates up to 26 people (14 tents), and site B and C can accommodate up to 16 people (10 tents).

Fires are not permitted on Bear Island, but campers may bring propane or backpack camp stoves. The group campsites have only one picnic table and are very primitive.

Water and a bathhouse with hot showers is located at Bear Island, but is available from only mid-March through mid-November. There is no water at Bear Island when the facilities are winterized.

Campers must carry all equipment to and from the campsites without assistance from park staff.

Registration

Group campers must register at the visitor center on the mainland before going to Bear Island. All vehicles left in the parking lot overnight must be registered at the visitor office or be subject to towing.

Ferry Tickets

With the purchase of initial ferry tickets and multiple nights of camping, campers are permitted one free round-trip ferry ride per day per person. Current camp permit with an attached receipt for ferry tickets must be presented at the visitor center to receive ferry tickets at no charge.

Cancellation Policy for Group Campsites

Please note that group camping reservations must be cancelled at least 14 days prior to the scheduled arrival date. No refunds are issued after the 14-day mark, but campers may reschedule to another date and will be charged only the cancellation fees.

Reservations

Please contact the park to make reservations for a group campsite.

Important Information

Check-In and Check-Out Times

Check-in at Hammocks Beach State Park is at 3 p.m. and check out is at 12 p.m.

Campers can check in at any time, but please do not occupy your campsite until after 3 p.m.

If you are planning on taking the ferry to Bear Island, please check the availability and schedule on our Ferry Schedule page.

If you do not arrive on your scheduled arrival date, you must contact the park by 3 p.m. the following day to inform the staff of your arrival. Otherwise, the site will be marked as a no-show and will be made available to other campers.

Leave No Trace

All equipment must be carried in to the campsites at Bear Island, either by backpacking through the ferry, by paddling, or by boat. All equipment, trash, and recyclables must be carried back out when you leave.

From mid-November to mid-March, there is no water at Bear Island, including at the bathhouse. Please bring potable water with you and take all containers off the island when you leave.

Camp in your designated campsite. Camp within 15 to 20 feet of the interior campsite maker. Do not set up camp in or around the bathhouse or on the beach.

Do not enter marked nesting bird areas. Do not feed the wildlife, including birds. Please do not approach or disturb sea turtles or their nests.

Learn About the Seven Principles

Amenities

Not all campsites have identical amenities. Read the campsite information on ReserveAmerica to see photos of campsites; check availability and fees; find out whether a specific site is wheelchair accessible, has access to water, bathhouses or pit toilets, or has RV hookups; and learn other important information.

Gate Access

Park gates are closed and locked at posted closing times for your protection. There will be no exiting or entering the gates at the mainland after the posted closing time. All visitors who are not spending the night need to be out by closing time. Vehicles left overnight must have a camping tag.

If you leave the park and do not return before closing time, you will not be able to re-enter. Check with the park during office hours for the after-hours emergency phone number. If you are planning on taking the ferry to Bear Island, please check the availability and schedule on our Ferry Schedule page.

Fires

Fires are not permitted at Bear Island. Please bring propane or backpack camp stoves with you to Bear Island.

Grills are permitted. All used charcoal must be carried out with you.

Making Reservations

All North Carolina state park campgrounds are designated for recreation only. A single campsite can be reserved for a maximum of 14 consecutive nights within any 30-day period. Upon reaching that limit, a camper must vacate the park for 16 nights before returning.

Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

Changes and Cancellations

You can cancel reservations online by logging into your account on ReserveAmerica. Please note that there is a $6 fee per night to cancel your reservation. The fees will be deducted from your refund.

Same-day cancellations will incur an additional charge of one night's camping. You cannot cancel a one-night reservation on the same day. Same-day cancellations can be made only by calling the reservations number at 1-877-722-6762.

Please note that group camping reservations must be cancelled at least 14 days prior to the scheduled arrival date. No refunds are issued after the 14-day mark, but campers may reschedule to another date and will be charged only the cancellation fees.

If you need to make changes to your reservation, please call ReserveAmerica at 1-877-722-6762. You cannot switch dates, campsites, or parks using your account online — you will be charged the cancellation fees, even if you book a new site.

In the event of a closure for a campsite, campground, or the entire park, you will be contacted automatically by ReserveAmerica to cancel or change your reservation. You will receive a full refund for cancellations due to park closures.

No refunds are issued for "no-shows," early departures, or cancellations made after the arrival date.

Camping Rates per Night

All prices listed on the page include the $3 reservation fee.

Campsite Type Nightly Rate
Primitive tent camping
— sites 1 to 14
$15
Group primitive tent camping, up to 26 people
— site A
$45
Group primitive tent camping, up to 16 people
— site B or C
$35

 

Tips for Camping on Bear Island at Hammocks Beach State Park:

Camping at Bear Island