Located near Swansboro, North Carolina, Hammocks Beach State Park is a pristine park that offers wonderful natural scenery and access to a whole host of recreational activities. Just 33 acres of park territory lies on the mainland, with the remainder of its 1,500-odd acres found offshore on the three-mile-long Bear Island.
This undeveloped barrier island can be accessed by the park’s passenger ferry or private ferry, or simply by paddling out in a canoe or kayak. And when you get there, you'll be rewarded with one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes anywhere in North Carolina.
Boasting a wide beach, towering sand dunes, and ocean views everywhere you look, Bear Island boasts adventure activities galore. You can explore paddling trails, fish for a huge variety of species, or take a dip in the beach's designated swimming area.
Wildlife lovers are also well catered for thanks to the park's unique coastal environment. A variety of migratory shorebirds draw birdwatchers from far and wide, but perhaps the most fascinating animal you might come across in Hammocks Beach State Park is the loggerhead sea turtle. These majestic creatures can live for up to 80 years and come ashore at night between mid-May and late August to nest.
If you're staying the night, camping on Bear Island is primitive. There are 14 family campsites and two group sites available, and we're sure you'll agree it's a pretty pawesome location to set up camp.
Speaking of paws, your pooch is welcome to camp with you but must be leashed at all times. You'll also need to keep your pet well away from any wildlife and dispose of their waste responsibly.
With these responsibilities taken care of, there's nothing to stop you and your canine companion a memorable camping vacation at this much-loved North Carolina destination. If you ever get the chance to camp in Hammocks Beach State Park, make sure you seize it with both hands!