The mainland area and hiking trails are open daily. Visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gate hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restrooms are open and can be accessed through the visitor center or outdoor entrances.
Bear Island is open for day use and camping and is accessible with ferry service Wednesday - Sunday, canoe, kayak, or private boat. Huggins, Dudley’s, and Jones islands are open for day use and only accessible by canoe, kayak, or private boat.
Masks are optional in all park buildings. Those who are unvaccinated or at high-risk are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
Ferry service is open Wednesday to Sunday, hourly; departs the mainland from 9:30 - 4:30, departs from Bear Island 10:00 - 5:00.
Please see the ferry schedule link for the complete schedule of departure days and times.
Additional Ferry Information:
- Ferry tickets are sold in person on a first-come, first-served basis; there are no reservations for the ferry.
- Tickets can sell out early in the day on weekends. Plan to arrive early in the day to purchase tickets.
- Ticket sales for the next available ferry are cut off 5 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
- Ferry boarding begins 5 to 10 minutes before the departure time at the ferry waiting station.
- The boarding gate will close at the scheduled departure time. If you have not boarded the ferry prior to the gate closing, you will not be allowed to board the ferry.
- Ticket holders who miss their scheduled departure time will need to go to the visitor center to switch the tickets for the next available departure time. There is no priority given to ticket holders who miss the ferry.
- Pets are not permitted on the ferry.
Beachside and sound side campsites are open year-round. Beachside campsites can be accessed by ferry, canoe, kayak, or private boat. Sound side campsites are accessible only by canoe, kayak, or private boat. The bathhouse is open 24/7 with potable water, showers, and restroom facilities through mid-November.
Please see the Reservations page to make a reservation or for additional information. Camping reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance online and through the call center.
Open fires are not permitted anywhere on Bear Island. Bear Island is trash-free, so please pack out trash and take it with you off the island.
There are no white lights (flash lights) permitted on Bear Island at night. Use red lens only on the beachfront at night.
Group campsites A, B, and C are open for organized groups only. Please see the camping page for additional group camp information.
Bear Island Facilities
The Bear Island bathhouse is open with potable water, showers, and restroom facilities through mid-November. Please note that there is no access to the bathhouse from the sound side campsites.
The concession stand is closed for the remainder of the 2023 season. Please bring any snacks and drinks with you.
There are no lifeguards on duty. Swim at your own risk and use extreme caution as strong currents and rip currents can occur at any time.
Paddling and Boating Information
Kayak launch and paddle trails are open for use.
The five paddle trails are all marked 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 for additional information.
The boat ramp in the maintenance area is open. There are eight parking spaces allocated for trailer parking. You must obtain a permit to utilize the boat ramp — present your annual pass at the visitor center or pay the boat ramp fee ($7). All boaters must check-in at the visitor center. Boat ramp may be closed Mondays and Tuesdays for ferry maintenance.
Please note park vessels and emergency vessels always have priority use of the boat ramp.
Questions can be directed to the park at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-326-4881.