While we firmly believe that the beaches of Emerald Isle are the most beautiful in town, we have to admit that Hammocks Beach State Park has some truly stunning vistas. The park is composed of four islands, the largest of which is Bear Island. This unspoiled island features over three miles of gorgeous shoreline that’s just waiting for you to come and explore! It’s a fantastic day trip for the whole family.
Are you looking for more great recommendations for outdoor attractions like Hammocks Beach State Park? Download our free Vacation Guide! We’ve listed other fun parks to visit, like Emerald Isle Woods Park or Cape Lookout National Shoreline. Before you know it, you’ll have your week on Emerald Isle planned!
Visit Hammocks Beach State Park
Hammocks Beach State Park is only accessible by water. Visitors have the option to ride the ferry from Swansboro to Bear Island or row in by kayak or canoe. The ferry is the easiest option for first-time visitors or for anyone not used to kayaking in these waters. Roundtrip tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 through 12. Plus, there is no fee to get into the actual park, so this day trip won’t break the bank!
Take a Hike
Due to the unspoiled nature of Bear Island, there are no designated hiking trails in the park. However, the beach is always a beautiful place to explore. It’s a fairly easy walk, with mudflats, salt marshes, and dunes to traverse. If you’re visiting between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can even take a dip in the designated swimming area.
Kayak the Waters
One of the most popular activities on Bear Island is kayaking. There are three kayak trails, all well-marked and easy to follow. If you’re a first-time visitor to the island, the Trout Channel Spur Trail is the one for you. It’s less than a mile long and runs between another Bear Island Paddle Trail and the ferry dock. For more of a challenge, take the main Bear Island Trail. It’s a little less than three miles one-way. This trail starts at the kayak launch and ends at the campsites.
Attend an Event
Hammocks Beach State Park hosts great events and programs all year-round. The events range from ranger-guided kayak tours through the marshlands to educational talks focused on native animals and plants. The Marsh Cruises are especially popular. Each 90-minute interpretive cruise takes you around Swansboro and the four islands that make up Hammocks Beach State Park. Reservations are required for so make sure to plan ahead!
Stay at Spinnaker’s Reach
After you’ve explored Hammocks Beach State Park, return to the luxury and comfort of a gorgeous rental home from Spinnaker’s Reach. We have a wide selection of homes located in the most beautiful section of Emerald Isle. From oceanfront to soundfront, you’ll find the perfect rental property for your needs.
Take a look at the stunning oceanfront home, “Changes in Attitude.” This home features six beds and four bathrooms and is perfect for families who want to travel in comfort. The second floor features a living area, kitchen, and dining room, all of which have gorgeous oceanfront views. There’s even a private walkway to the beach with a dune deck. No need to worry about finding beach parking or sand in your car here!
Check out the rest of our rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.