Acquisition completed to expand Hammocks Beach State Park
RALEIGH – The acquisition of 199 acres on the mainland at Hammocks Beach State Park in Onslow County was completed today with a formal closing on property previously owned by the heirs of John Hurst, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
The Conservation Fund intends to purchase an adjoining 90 acres that will also be added to the state park through a phased acquisition over the next three years.
The waterfront tract on Queen’s Creek was once the site of popular summer camps and has long been identified as a critical need for the state park for traditional park facilities and to enhance protection of water quality, subaquatic vegetation and scenic assets on the creek. Currently, the 1,155-acre park encompasses 30 acres on the mainland, the site of a visitor center, along with Bear Island, Huggins Island and Jones Island.
“This event marks the end of a very long acquisition process, and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Hammocks Beach State Park with new opportunities for recreation and environmental education on this property,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “Our gratitude goes to so many that have been involved in this success, but most particularly to The Conservation Fund, Friends of Hammocks and Bear Island and the Hurst family.”
The state’s portion of the property will be purchased for $6.96 million, provided through bonds and the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The purchase price was part of a settlement agreement reached in June 2014.
Authorized in 1961, Hammocks Beach State Park recorded 178,736 visitors in 2014.