A maintenance area boat ramp at Hammocks Beach State Park in Swansboro is now open to the public. Language in the recently approved state budget requires any park that includes an existing boat ramp suitable for launch of motorized watercraft to ensure the ramp is accessible to the public during operating hours. Superintendent of Hammocks Beach State Park Sarah Kendrick says the small service ramp, used to maintain the park’s ferries, opened Saturday.
“We had to modify our operations just a little bit with the ferry boats, but mostly we just included some signage down there, informational signs how to get a permit to launch, where to park, those sort of things.”
The boat ramp is open during park hours from 8am to 7pm. Launch permits are $6.
“We do not allow folks to launch any time between 9 and 10o’clock in the morning and 3 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon when we are doing service on our boats.”
Boat launching facilities have been a contentious topic since Hammocks Beach acquired 290 acres of mainland property, and sought public input on how to develop the land. According to Tideland News, there are no boat facilities in the master plan awaiting approval from the Director of the State Park System.