Hammocks Beach State Park

Swansboro, NC

Where are we going?

Hammocks Beach State Park
1572 Hammock Beach Rd
NC 28584

910 326-4881

What is there to do?

Some say that Hammocks Beach State Park is home to the crown jewel of North Carolina. We're talking about Bear Island.

This three mile long undeveloped island is accessible by a passenger ferry from the park itself. You can also take a private ferry, or paddle your own canoe or kayak. But it's worth it!

Venture to Bear Island and reward yourself with vivid memories of one of the most unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic coast, teeming with massive sand dunes, only interrupted by primitive campsites and a modest concession.

The best place to start your journey is to head to the full-service visitor center on the mainland. It's also the launch site for the ferries and kayaks. 

Stroll the beach with laughing gulls and sandpipers. Cast a baited hook into endless rows of foaming breakers. Discover tiny specimens of marine life in tidal pools and mudflats. Use a camera or paintbrush to capture the green and gold grasses that color the salt marshes. Spend the night among the sand dunes, or simply bask in the sun and do nothing at all.

Secluded and tranquil, free from intruding commercialism, Hammocks Beach may not be for everyone, but the island is a retreat for people who welcome the challenges of relentless sun, sand, sea and sky.

You can rent the kayaks or canoes there, as well as paddleboards. You might also want to travel to Huggins Island which is graced with unspoiled maritime forest.

A great way for kids to learn more is to check out the interpretive programs and extensive exhibits about the park ecology and wildlife, including endangered sea turtles and nesting shorebirds. 

A beautiful, secluded, adventurous and nature filled family day out for all in this North Carolina gem!

How much does it cost?

Adults: Free to enter the park, but $5 roundtrip on the ferry

Children: Free to enter the park, but $3 roundtrip on the ferry (Ages 6-12)

Free Under: 5 years for the ferry, but they still require a physical ticket


When can we go?

8am open. 7pm close June - Aug. 6pm close Sept - May

Mainland park is open year round but closed Christmas Day. Ferry service operates April to October only.


Any top tips?

The non-transferrable season pass is sold at the visitor center office for $60.00 per individual and is good for the calendar year's ferry season (April - October).

I’m Hungry!

There's a limited concession on the island, but feel free to pack your own lunch!

Healthy Eating

Take plenty of bottled water!

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