Fort Macon State Park

Fort Macon Arial ViewFort Macon offers public access to the surf, sun and sand of the Crystal Coast—as well as a historic landmark. Located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks, one of a series of barrier islands along the North Carolina coast, the park is surrounded on three sides by water—the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort Inlet and Bogue Sound. This area of undisturbed natural beauty is the perfect place to explore salt marches and estuaries vital to the coastal ecosystem.

The park is also home to a Civil War fort with a history as intricate and unique as the waterways of the sound. Visit Fort Macon to enjoy the land's natural beauty and soak up some history.

Exhibits and Fort Tour

1qFort Macon's cannonExplore history at Fort Macon State Park! There is something to discover in each of the fort's 26 casements (vaulted rooms). Exhibits and displays acquaint you with the fort's history, and restored quarters offer a look into the lives of officers and soldiers.

Admire the fort's powder magazines, counterfire rooms with cannon emplacements and wide moat that could be flooded to protect the fort during a siege. The fort features a historic cannon, two cannon replicas, a hot shot furnace and a bake oven.

Join a guided tour of the fort or conduct your own following the guide available at the bookstore. The fort is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and closed Christmas Day. Historic reenactments are often held on the fort's inner court or parade ground.


Flounder, bluefish, spot, croaker, sheepshead and whiting are abundant in the inlet and the ocean. Fishing may be enjoyed at the park throughout the year.


Hiking along the park beaches provides good birding. The dunes along the beach are sparsely vegetated with picturesque sea oats (Uniola paniculata) and other hardy grasses and shrubs. The rock jetties, although man-made, provide inter-tidal habitats for many marine organisms that are fed upon by birds.


Picnic facilities in the park include outdoor grills, drinking water, picnic tables, shelters and restrooms. Trash containers are centrally located.


Fort Macon's beach is a popular source of recreation. From June through Labor Day, a seaside bathhouse and refreshment stand are open, and lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Because of strong water currents, visitors are encouraged to swim only in the protected area. Surfing is not allowed in the protected swimming area.

Park Hours

Bathhouse Area:
November–February, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
March, October, 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
April, May, September, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
June–August, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.

Swimming Area:
10 a.m.–5:45 p.m.

Fort Area:
October–March, 8 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
April, May, September, 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
June–August, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Fort, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Closed Christmas Day

Park office hours:
8 a.m.–1 p.m., 2 p.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday

Closed state holidays

Park fees

Bathhouse: $4 per adult, $3 per child age 5 to 12. Bathhouse includes showers, changing rooms and toilets.

Returned check fee: A returned check fee of $25 will be charged for all returned checks.


Fort Macon State Park is located in Carteret County on the eastern end of Bogue Banks. From I-95, take US 70 east to Morehead City and turn south on Atlantic Beach Causeway. Cross the bridge to Atlantic Beach and turn left on NC 58. The fort is located at the tip of the island.

Map: Fort Macon State Park

Park Website


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