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Hammocks Beach - NC State Park
Swansboro, NC

    Located on Bear Island, Hammocks Beach State Park is best known for its three miles of beautiful beaches stretching along the blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean, (follow park signs off Hwy 24 just west of Swansboro). Here you can find a beach unspoiled by man, untouched by time, and definitely at its finest.

    For hundreds of years before the English came to America, Bear Island was home to the Neusiok and Core Indians. But when the English arrived, the secretary to the royal governor granted the notorious pirate Blackbeard use of the island in return for some of his "treasures." Blackbeard thusly utilized the island throughout the early 1700s. After his death a fort was built on the western end of the island to protect the area from other outlaws.

    Today visitors to Hammocks Beach can enjoy surf-fishing, hiking (very hot sand necessitates shoes), camping, swimming, picnicking and shelling. Bear Island is also one of the most important nesting areas in the state for loggerhead sea turtles. Females come ashore on summer nights to deposit their eggs in the warm sands and then return to the sea. These nests and hatchlings are protected by the endangered species act - don't disturb.

    Educational programs on such topics as sea animals, pollution, the island's history, and shells also are presented by park employees.

    Last summer's hurricanes destroyed the park's picnic shelters and indoor showers; however, outdoor showers, restrooms, and drinking water are available.

     A ferry to Bear Island runs the 25-minute route hourly from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, May through October. Departing from the mainland for the island on the half hour and departing from the island for the return to the mainland on the hour according to the schedule in the chart below:

  1. in May, the ferry runs Friday through Sunday;
  2. in June, the ferry runs Wednesday through Sunday;
  3. from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the ferry runs seven days a week;
  4. in September, the ferry runs Wednesday through Sunday;
  5. in October, the ferry only runs Friday through Sunday;
  6. and November through April, the ferry is closed.

Cost - Fees - Admission

    Cost for this park is $5 per adult, $3 for senior citizens and $3 for children ages 6 to 12. The brief ferry ride takes visitors from the mainland section of the park in Swansboro to Bear Island.

Campsite Fees

  1. Backpack and canoe-in campsites: Fourteen family campsites are available on Bear Island on a first-come, first-serve basis for $9 per night. Water and other facilities are available, except from mid-November through mid-March when facilities are winterized.
  2. Group backpack and canoe-in campsites: Three group campsites are available, by reservation only, for $1 per person, per night, with a $9 minimum per site. Water and other facilities are available on the island, except from mid-November through mid-March when facilities are winterized.

    Returned check fee: A returned check fee of $25 will be charged for all returned checks.

For more information, 910-326-4881.

NC State Park Service Page for this Park

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Last Revised: November 20, 2008 09:49 PM.

Hotel rates displayed in our listings are for comparative purposes only, the actual rates change daily.
Please click on the "Get Rates" Button for the current rates on the lodging you are interested in.
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