Bear Island

Never been to Bear Island. Is it smooth water or choppy.

It Is a Great Place to Paddle
You will see mostly smooth water. If you put-in at the State Park on the mainland you will cross the ICW and enter a marked paddle trail through the marsh grass. The trail is about 2.5 miles long and will dump you out near the North end of the Island. There is a nice beach at the North end with a lagoon and a couple of the parks camp sites. Both ends of the Island face Inlets and there can be rough water in the Inlets if you paddle out into them. The Island is about four miles long, I think. You can follow the paddle trail through the marsh grass down to the South end where there is another nice beach and more camp sites. The Island is un-inhabited and has no development other than some little state park infastructure.

happy paddling,


Bear Island
Thanks, Mark, I knew you would be the one to answer me. Thanks, never been there, but going right now. Should be a beautiful day.

Both of course.
On one occasion we had to take shelter on Bear Island while big thunderstorms moved through. There were certainly big waves. We stayed the night and the next day there were still sizable waves even though the storms had passed. It was sort of fun paddling back through the waves but not for the faint of heart. The point is the weather in that area, as in most of the Great Lakes, can quickly change. Don’t go there if you are not ready to deal with sudden wind and storms and waves.

Oops. More than one bear island?

Bear Island
FREE paddle trail maps of that area, including Bear Island, are available at the Morehead City Visitors Center or you can request online from the Crystal Coast Canoe and Kayak Club at Bear Island can also be easily accessed from Shell Rock Landing which is off Queens Creek. is the State Park website

Stay safe on the water,


Bear Island??
Where is this located??

location …
abit down the road from Swansboro. as far as conditions around the island, it depends on the tide since tidal currents in the channel can be considerable. the ocean side of Bear can be very challenging but in the bay it’s fine … shallow at low tide. watch the boats when crossing the intercoastal … they zip through there…


I hope you had a nice paddle. Several folks from the Wilmington paddle club went up today also. Wish I could have gone but it was soccer and cross country, or rather watching my boys.

I went up there yesterday and it was a bit dreary weather wise. Today looks absolutely beautiful.

happy paddling,


great paddle
I put out at Shell Landing today. Tried to meet the Wilmington group but they were already out, so I took off solo. Didn’t have a map so I basically took a left until I saw the Hammocks Beach sign, and took a right toward the island. Followed the ferry to the island and paddled around until I met some others who were camping out. Went around to the northern end, and had some difficulty in the lagoon (low tide) but it was beautiful. Saw a large group of dolphins playing on the ocean side when I walked up to the bathrooms.

How are the canoe/kayak trails marked? Tried to find them but couldn’t. I will get a map before I go again.

You Did Have The Weather
for a great paddle. The marked trail starts North of the main channel that you took over to the Island and winds through the marsh grass. The begining of the trail is North of where you turned adjacent to the parks maintenance and overflow lot, (that is were you can put in at a small beach). You passed right by the Island end of the trail as it comes out of the marsh very near the North end of the Island. The markers are small painted markers on poles with numbers that match with the maps the hand out at the park. There is another trail out to another Island which I have not taken, yet.

Happy Padding,


Bull Island trip
How was the trip, Mark?

from Emerald Isle
I went there 4 times during the week I was there in early October. Each time I lauched from the Emerald Isle beach, right next to the “Round House”, and paddled across the inlet to get there. We were staying about 0.5 mile from there, and I just walked to the beach access near the point and walked down. At anything but high tide you are fairly protected from the swells due to the inlet sandbars, but the current in the channel next to the beach can be strong. It is a pretty crossing.

The free maps mentioned earlier are great and the most detailed I’ve seen of the area. With those and a compass you can literally paddle all day in the area bounded by Bear Inlet, Bogue Inlet, and Swansboro.