Public sites

Carolina Beach State Park

This popular park offers miles of hiking trails, a newly renovated marina with access to great fishing spots and a diverse environment featuring longleaf pines, shrub swamps, ponds and even carnivorous plants like the venus flytrap.

Following is information on camping facilities:

Facility: 83 drive-to / walk-in campsites (non-electric). A picnic table and grill are located at each campsite.
Location: Between the visitor center and picnic area.
Accommodates: Up to 6 people per site.
Nearby Amenities: Water, restrooms, hot shower facilities, and a recreational vehicle (rv) dump station.
Availability: Every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Reservations Required: Strongly advised. Any unreserved sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Accessible: Two campsites are accessible.
Fees:  $20/day, senior citizens (62+) $15/day

Facility: Two primitive group campsites. Picnic tables, fire circles and pit toilets are available.
Location: Along Swamp Trail.
Accommodates: Site #1 accommodates up to 25 people. Site #2 accommodates up to 35 people.
Nearby Amenities: Water is available at the visitor center and marina.
Availability: Every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Reservations Required: Yes.
Accessible: No.
Unimproved campsites with pit privies (composting or vault toilets, etc.)
Fees:  $13/day minimum. $2 additional per day for every person over the minimum number of campers.

Dump Station for RVs for non-campers --- $20

Masonboro Island

Only accessible by boat, this 8-mile long barrier island is protected by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Eighty-seven percent of the island is covered with marsh and tidal flats. The remaining portions are composed of beach uplands and dredge material islands.

The habitats found within this site include subtidal soft bottoms, tidal flats, hard surfaces, salt marshes, shrub thicket, maritime forest, dredge spoil areas, grasslands, ocean beach, and sand dunes. Loggerhead and green sea turtles nest on the beaches, where seabeach amaranth plants grow on the foredunes. All of these species are listed as threatened by the Federal Government. Species of concern are the black skimmers, Wilson’s plovers, and least terns that nest on the island.

The nutrient rich waters of Masonboro Sound are an important nursery area for spot, mullet, summer flounder, pompano, menhaden, and bluefish.

Boats usually land on the beaches along the north and south sound side of the island. Trails allow visitors to walk across the island to access the beach. Visitors may also walk down the undisturbed ocean beach for miles. The most fragile habitat areas, which can be easily impacted by visitors, are dunes, grassy flats, high and low marsh grass communities, and eelgrass beds. Individuals and groups may utilize beach areas, open tidal flats and areas between dunes as long as the vegetation and habitat are not altered.

Primitive camping is allowed on the island. Campers should use areas that have obviously been camped previously. Camping on dunes and disturbance of vegetation are not allowed. Visitors need to pack out everything they packed in. All personal property must be removed from the island within 48 hours.