Hammocks Beach State Park

Hammocks Beach State Park The official page of Hammocks Beach State Park- a hidden gem along the coast of North Carolina. Hammocks Beach State Park is located in Swansboro, NC.
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Operating as usual

We're baaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk!  Programming at the park is open for business!  Check out our latest Calendar of Events f...
09/06/2020

We're baaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk! Programming at the park is open for business! Check out our latest Calendar of Events for this month. With fall right around the corner who doesn't want to go out to one of their favorite parks to explore?!

Please note that due to the Governor's new Executive Order social distancing is encouraged and face masks must be worn whenever social distancing of 6 feet can't be maintained.

Hope to see you at the park!

Construction underway! Park staff repairing the boardwalk on Bear Island. NOTE: The park ferry service is still suspende...
08/26/2020

Construction underway! Park staff repairing the boardwalk on Bear Island.

NOTE: The park ferry service is still suspended. The kayak launch, boat ramp, and private concessions are available to access Bear Island.

Our miracle babies!Intern Hollis Hatfield conducted an inventory to nest #3. We weren't sure how the nest would be after...
08/25/2020

Our miracle babies!
Intern Hollis Hatfield conducted an inventory to nest #3. We weren't sure how the nest would be after being overwashed by Hurricane Isaias earlier this month. We didn't see any activity from the nest, so at day 80 Hollis dug it up to see what happened with the eggs. And to our surprise some of the eggs HATCHED and there were 2 hatchlings eager to come out! As you can see Hollis was very happy to see these little ones. 💚🐢

Nest 3 inventory-
Hatched: 30
Unhatched: 105
Live hatchlings: 2
Hatch success: 22%

08/24/2020

We have added another slip to the kayak launch. This one is shorter and does not have rollers. Mark Holbrook of Paddle NC demonstrates how to launch and land.

Nest #5 inventory:Hatched eggs: 110Unhatched eggs:10Live hatchling: 1Hatching success: 92%Another successful post-hurric...
08/19/2020

Nest #5 inventory:
Hatched eggs: 110
Unhatched eggs:10
Live hatchling: 1
Hatching success: 92%

Another successful post-hurricane story!

More than 100 baby turtles hatch from Bear Island nest.
By Mike McHugh
SWANSBORO-There's a lot of little turtles swimming away from Bear Island.
A loggerhead turtle nest inventory conducted by Hammocks Beach State Park Renee Evans and Jake Vitak plus two summer interns on Tuesday, Aug. 18, found Nest No. 5, which hatched on Aug. 15, produced 110 baby turtles. There were 10 unhatched eggs.
According to Evans, the female turtle laid her eggs on June 12.
After the eggs are buried in the sand, it usually takes between 60 to 80 days for a boil, a term used to describe when the baby turtles break out of their shell and emerge from their sandy womb, according to Evans.
During Tuesday's inventory, one turtle was found alive in the 18-inch cavity and was released into the ocean.
Bear Island has recorded 15 nests so far this year which matches last season's total. Evans said turtles can continue to come ashore and lay eggs into September.
For more information on loggerhead turtles or about HBSP call 910-326-4881.

Hammocks Beach State Park
08/18/2020

Hammocks Beach State Park

After careful digging and counting of our turtle nest #4 our inventory is complete:Total eggs: 129Hatched eggs: 112Hatch...
08/12/2020

After careful digging and counting of our turtle nest #4 our inventory is complete:
Total eggs: 129
Hatched eggs: 112
Hatch success rate: 87%

We had 8 live hatchlings still in the nest in which we released out to the ocean to start their journey. Great job to our interns Emily, Jen, and Hollis and to everyone else that helped out today with their release.
This nest survived the hurricane... hoping for more success stories. Flippers crossed!

This critter was resting at the beach on Bear Island this evening. Show us your bird identification skills!
08/12/2020

This critter was resting at the beach on Bear Island this evening. Show us your bird identification skills!

08/12/2020
08/12/2020

Turtle nest inventory

Marine debris is a lesser fun aspect of our Sea Turtle internship. As we drive the beach throughout the night and mornin...
08/11/2020
Marine Debris on Bear Island!

Marine debris is a lesser fun aspect of our Sea Turtle internship. As we drive the beach throughout the night and mornings we stop to collect anything that may have washed up with the tide or been left behind by campers. [ 371 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/marine-debris-on-bear-island-2/

Marine debris is a lesser fun aspect of our Sea Turtle internship. As we drive the beach throughout the night and mornings we stop to collect anything that may have washed up with the tide or been …

On Sunday, the interns and some of the other park rangers all came onto the island to perform an inventory on nest one s...
08/06/2020
Nest 1 Inventory!!

On Sunday, the interns and some of the other park rangers all came onto the island to perform an inventory on nest one since it had hatched a few days prior. When doing an inventory on a nest we have multiple bins set aside to put the hatched eggs and the unpatched eggs in. This helps us keep track of how many eggs there were in the nest, so that we can find the success rate of the nest. [ 137 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/08/06/nest-1-inventory/

On Sunday, the interns and some of the other park rangers all came onto the island to perform an inventory on nest one since it had hatched a few days prior. When doing an inventory on a nest we ha…

Well it's official! We have been warned.Park update: The park is still open. Starting Monday, August 3rd, the boat ramp ...
08/02/2020

Well it's official! We have been warned.

Park update: The park is still open. Starting Monday, August 3rd, the boat ramp and kayak launch facilities will be closed until further notice. NOTE: Hiking trails may be closed after the storm due to potential tree hazards.
Park staff will reevaluate after the tropical storm passes to ensure park visitor and staff safety. Monitor this page and our website for updates: www.ncparks.gov

STAY SAFE!

Busy morning at the park ahead of the storm!
08/02/2020

Busy morning at the park ahead of the storm!

More than 100 baby turtles hatch from Bear Island nest.

By Mike McHugh

SWANSBORO-There's a lot of little turtles swimming away from Bear Island.

A loggerhead turtle nest inventory conducted by Hammocks Beach State Park Ranger Renee Evans and a group of summer interns on Sunday, Aug. 2, found Nest No. 1 which hatched on July 30 produced 110 baby turtles. There were 50 unhatched eggs.
According to Evans, the female turtle laid her eggs on May 25.
After the eggs are buried in the sand, it usually takes between 60 to 80 days for a boil, a term used to describe when the baby turtles break out of their shell and emerge from their sandy womb, according to Evans.
During Sunday's inventory, nine turtles were found alive in the 18-inch cavity and were released into the ocean.
Bear Island has recorded 15 nests so far this year which matches last season's total. Evans said turtles can continue to come ashore and lay eggs into September.
For more information on loggerhead turtles or about HBSP call 910-326-4881.

Ranger Fran noticed this longnose gar hanging around the ferry dock at Bear Island. Gar are typically found in freshwate...
07/29/2020

Ranger Fran noticed this longnose gar hanging around the ferry dock at Bear Island. Gar are typically found in freshwater rivers and brackish areas.

Onslow County Tourism
07/29/2020

Onslow County Tourism

Scenic views, wide-open beach, unique camping, and water adventures await at Hammocks Beach State Park's Bear Island! Hop on a specialty cruise over to this barrier island aboard Marsh Cruises, Lady Swan Boat Tours, or Pogie's Fishing Center. For those who want a challenge, pick up your paddle and kayak over to the island with Paddle NC, Swansboro Paddle Boarding or Pogie's Fishing Center. #onlyinonslow #onslowsgreatoutdoors #bearisland

Hello everyone, this is Ian Taylor, one of the turtle interns this year. Just this past Tuesday night we had two turtles...
07/27/2020
Two Nests in One Night

Hello everyone, this is Ian Taylor, one of the turtle interns this year. Just this past Tuesday night we had two turtles come up to nest, which has not happened yet this year and was very exciting. When the first turtle appeared, two park rangers and a member of the community were there to accompany us and got to observe the whole process. [ 147 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/two-nests-in-one-night/

Hello everyone, this is Ian Taylor, one of the turtle interns this year. Just this past Tuesday night we had two turtles come up to nest, which has not happened yet this year and was very exciting.…

Hammocks Beach State Park
07/26/2020

Hammocks Beach State Park

At the beginning of the nesting season, predation to the bird colony was low. I was beginning to think that no coyotes w...
07/18/2020
Nesting Shorebird Update #2

At the beginning of the nesting season, predation to the bird colony was low. I was beginning to think that no coyotes were currently living on the island. There were many more nests and successful hatchings than what had been recorded in past years. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, coyote tracks started to appear and bird nests began rapidly disappearing. The first coyote nest predation event occurred on July 3rd, which resulted in a 70% loss of active nests from the Bear Inlet colony. [ 116 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/nesting-shorebird-update-2/

At the beginning of the nesting season, predation to the bird colony was low. I was beginning to think that no coyotes were currently living on the island. There were many more nests and successful…

On the night of July 10th, we saw two false crawls on Bear Island. The first one happened at around 9:45 pm and it was q...
07/15/2020
Night of July 10th 2020!

On the night of July 10th, we saw two false crawls on Bear Island. The first one happened at around 9:45 pm and it was quite a show! This mama came out of the water, crawled in one BIG circle, then a smaller turnaround, and then began digging her nest. This is where she was when we found her. We saw that she hadn't begun nesting yet, so we waited in the truck and gave her 15 minutes to finish digging. [ 332 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/07/15/night-of-july-10th-2020/

On the night of July 10th, we saw two false crawls on Bear Island. The first one happened at around 9:45 pm and it was quite a show! This mama came out of the water, crawled in one BIG circle, then…

Early on the morning of July 5th, Mackenzie and I had found a nesting mama! It was around 5:30 AM. we were lucky to have...
07/13/2020
Nest #9!

Early on the morning of July 5th, Mackenzie and I had found a nesting mama! It was around 5:30 AM. we were lucky to have gotten there early to be able to do all that we need to do to get information on her. Our ninth nesting mama “Liberty” We had to sit and watch for a while because when we first saw her she had just started digging her hole. [ 144 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/nest-9/

Early on the morning of July 5th, Mackenzie and I had found a nesting mama! It was around 5:30 AM. we were lucky to have gotten there early to be able to do all that we need to do to get informatio…

UPDATE: The young osprey are as big as their parents. They should begin to leave the nest soon.
07/13/2020

UPDATE: The young osprey are as big as their parents. They should begin to leave the nest soon.

07/12/2020

Our early morning nester on Bear Island from last week! Our sea turtle interns monitor the beach all night for any nesting female turtles. They were on their last patrol run for the morning when they saw this beautiful (yet tired) mama just as the sun started to rise. Stay tuned to their blog about the rest of her story! (Video credit: intern Mackenzie Milner)

It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in coastal NC! Come out to the park and enjoy or Story Walk activity along ...
07/11/2020

It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in coastal NC! Come out to the park and enjoy or Story Walk activity along our Nature Trail by the Visitor Center. Fun for the whole family (even the furry ones 🐕) to enjoy! See you at the park!

Early in the morning on July 1st, nest 8 was laid. As we were driving along the beach we noticed this mama nesting very ...
07/10/2020
Nest 8!

Early in the morning on July 1st, nest 8 was laid. As we were driving along the beach we noticed this mama nesting very close to our tire tracks. At first we were nervous that we had scared her, but when we went to look to see what stage of the nesting process she was in, she was luckily already laying eggs and barely noticed us. [ 153 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/nest-8-2/

Early in the morning on July 1st, nest 8 was laid. As we were driving along the beach we noticed this mama nesting very close to our tire tracks. At first we were nervous that we had scared her, bu…

Let's go for a StoryWalk! The live oak trail has become a walking book.
07/07/2020

Let's go for a StoryWalk! The live oak trail has become a walking book.

Hello, this is Ian Taylor! It's been a little bit and I just wanted to write a quick update on the progress of the turtl...
07/07/2020
Nest Update #7

Hello, this is Ian Taylor! It's been a little bit and I just wanted to write a quick update on the progress of the turtle nests. On the night of June 26th, we had a very busy night. First of all, at about 8:30 we saw a turtle come out of the water before the sun had even gone down, but this turned out to be a false crawl. [ 96 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/nest-update-7/

Hello, this is Ian Taylor! It’s been a little bit and I just wanted to write a quick update on the progress of the turtle nests. On the night of June 26th, we had a very busy night. First of …

07/06/2020

Meet the newest additions to the park! On your next visit be on the lookout for these precious young white-tailed deer! Admire from afar, though. Mama is quite protective.

06/29/2020

Friday evening was a very busy night for our interns Ian and Mackenzie. And it started early just as the sun began to set over Bear Island!
Check out this amazing video of a female loggerhead sea turtle retreating back to the ocean as the sun was setting! She didn't lay a nest at this time (false crawl)... but both interns made sure she safely crawled back to the water. Enjoy!
(Video credit: Intern Mackenzie Milner)

Sea turtle sighting at sunset! (Photo credit: intern Ian Taylor)
06/28/2020

Sea turtle sighting at sunset! (Photo credit: intern Ian Taylor)

Hi everyone, Sadly, no new nests have been laid as of yet. However, a Kemps Ridley sea turtle was spotted on Bear Island...
06/25/2020
The How’s and Why’s of What We Do

Hi everyone, Sadly, no new nests have been laid as of yet. However, a Kemps Ridley sea turtle was spotted on Bear Island! No nest was laid, but we are hoping she will return to lay one! Each time a female nests or conducts a false crawl there is a lot that must be done during a short amount of time. [ 695 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/06/25/the-hows-and-whys-of-what-we-do/

Hi everyone,  Sadly, no new nests have been laid as of yet. However, a Kemps Ridley sea turtle was spotted on Bear Island! No nest was laid, but we are hoping she will return to lay one! Each …

So far we have 3 species of shorebirds nesting on Bear Island this summer: least terns, Wilson’s plovers, and oyster cat...
06/22/2020
Nesting Shorebird Update

So far we have 3 species of shorebirds nesting on Bear Island this summer: least terns, Wilson’s plovers, and oyster catchers. These are all ground nesting birds. The majority of nests on the island belong to least terns (121 of the 125 nests), which are colonial nesters, meaning they nest together in large groups. Below I have attached a photo of a least tern nest. [ 250 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/nesting-shorebird-update/

So far we have 3 species of shorebirds nesting on Bear Island this summer: least terns, Wilson’s plovers, and oyster catchers. These are all ground nesting birds. The majority of nests on the islan…

On Friday morning we saw nest #6 for Bear Island! Our night began with finding a handful of holes and sandcastles made b...
06/22/2020
Nest Six!

On Friday morning we saw nest #6 for Bear Island! Our night began with finding a handful of holes and sandcastles made by campers. Pictured below is the largest of the holes found. We were sure to fill them in and knock down the sand piles to give the sea turtles a safe place to crawl should they come out of the water in this area! [ 522 more words ]
https://habeinterns.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/nest-six/

On Friday morning we saw nest #6 for Bear Island! Our night began with finding a handful of holes and sandcastles made by campers. Pictured below is the largest of the holes found. We were sure to …

This sunken shrimp boat near the park has provided an excellent nesting opportunity for Osprey.
06/22/2020

This sunken shrimp boat near the park has provided an excellent nesting opportunity for Osprey.

NAME THIS TURTLE!Ok Hammocks Beach State Park fan club... we have a new program at the park that will be kickstarted lat...
06/20/2020

NAME THIS TURTLE!
Ok Hammocks Beach State Park fan club... we have a new program at the park that will be kickstarted later this summer and we need your help! It involves this sea turtle sculpture and marine debris.
We are in the middle of developing an educational display with this sculpture to talk about the growing global issue of marine debris. We need help naming the turtle!
During the next couple days suggest a name for this sculpture. We will then narrow it down and do a survey later this week with the picked names. The winning name will be revealed later in the summer at its official program unveiling.
Be creative!! Be original!!

Address

1572 Hammocks Beach Road
Swansboro, NC
28584

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 18:00
Thursday 08:00 - 18:00
Friday 08:00 - 18:00
Saturday 08:00 - 18:00
Sunday 08:00 - 18:00

Telephone

(910) 326-4881

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Comments

Looking for a water taxi over to Bear Island on October 25th and return the 27th. Need drop off at remote campsite #12. Please message me.
The ncparks website is sooo confusing as of 8/10/20. Is the beach open? Is the ferry running to the beach? Is the beach area on Bear Island? Please advise.
Is the ferry running yet?
With the ferry closed, do you know of any water taxi services that will bring/pick up campers to the park? I'd like to think that my kids could make the kayak there, but with gear and everything I'm not certain and looking for options.
Are there any water taxis going to Bear Island this weekend?
Tory and I loved the hike this morning. Thank you!
Will you be asking for live Christmas tree donations for Bear island?
I love all of the new events but who are coming to these events at 10AM on school days?! Even 3PM for the kids is kind of early seeing as how here in Jacksonville we do not get out until 3... by the time we get there the event will be over! I hope you carry these events into the Summer so that more people who want to participate can!
Does anyone have names of privates ferries that will take you over to Bear Island during the week after Christmas?
NC State Parks getting hooked on the holiday season at the Christmas parade today in Raleigh. Way to go!
We are pleased to inform you that Hammocks Beach State Park has been featured in 8 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in North Carolina by Step Outside! Whether you’re searching for invigorating hikes with breathtaking views or the most idyllic places to kayak in your area, Step Outside is the leader in outdoor exploration. Between spotlighting the best local shops and retailers to covering all of the outdoor recreation you can dream about, Step Outside will get you pointed in the right direction. Celebrate being outdoors and share this post with your followers! Tag us with @StepOutsideUSA.
Last Tuesday the 14th I attended a lecture/ demonstration that was conducted by ranger Renae about birds of prey and I just wanted to comment on what a great job she did !! She is very knowledgeable and a very personable person !! It was very educational and a lot of fun listening and talking with her !! Thank you Renae !!! Great job !!