Going to Hammocks Beach State Park and Bear Island is the top thing to do for people vacationing in Swansboro (according to Trip Advisor reviews). Our La Casita guests agree! This article provides a bit of information on how to get to the park and some history on how the park was established.
How to get to the park: Hammocks Beach State Park is about 3 miles from La Casita. The park is on the right near the end of Hammocks Beach Road at 1572 Hammocks Beach Road, Swansboro, NC 28584. At the park you’ll take the ferry over to Bear Island (a Southern Outer Banks barrier island). Bear Island is undeveloped and can only be reached by boat. We have had guests stay at La Casita for a week and they have gone to Hammocks Beach State Park every day. Guests routinely tell me that Bear Island is among the best beaches they have ever visited.
Then take the ferry to Bear Island: To get to Bear Island you will have to take the ferry or a private boat. The park ferry is a large passenger only pontoon boat. It is wheel chair accessible. The ferry makes runs to the island starting at 9:30 AM every day in the summer. There is more limited service in the Spring and Fall. There is no ferry service in the winter. Throughout the year Bear Island is always accessible by private boat.
- Adult roundtrip — $5
- Senior Citizen (62 or older) roundtrip — $3
- Children ages 6-12 roundtrip — $3
- Annual Ferry Pass — $50
On Bear Island you will find a Beach Pavilion which has showers, bathrooms and a concession stand. There is a life guard at the beach.
Hammocks Beach State Park has an interesting history: The park is much more than the beach at Bear Island. For more information about the park history and a recent land acquisition I recommend the reading the articles found at the links listed below:
Mark Simmerson’s History of Bear Island, 2004 which provides a wealth of information about Dr. Sharpe and John Hurst and how those names are entwined in the history of Hammocks Beach State Park and Bear Island
Jones Island (the island you see in the middle of the White Oak River north of the bridges) … yet another part of Hammocks Beach State Park – North Carolina Coastal Federation
$10 million sale adds 290 acres to Onslow County coastal park – Raleigh News and Observer
Visit Hammocks Beach State Park: Hammocks Beach State Park is a great destination that is enjoyed by many people who visit Swansboro. You, your family and your friends will have a great time!