What to do in Fort Macon State Park

This lovely ocean side park offers sun, sand, sea and history. From the days of Blackbeard the Pirate to World War II, this site offers an interesting lesson in maritime history.

tour of the restored fort that stood guard over Beaufort Harbor during the Civil War. Five-sided Fort Macon is constructed of brick and stone. The twenty-six vaulted rooms, also known as casements, are enclosed by outer walls over four feet thick. Other features include powder magazines, counter fire rooms with cannon emplacements and a wide moat which served to protect the fort when flooded with waters from Bogue Sound. An inner court or parade ground is often the scene of historic reenactments. Join a guided tour of the fort or conduct your own following the printed guide available at the bookstore. The fort also includes a museum and restored rooms. There is one hiking trail, Elliot Coues Nature Trail, which begins from the fort parking area. It is an easy .25 miles path which circles through a shrub thicket and back to the parking area. It is named after a doctor who served at Fort Macon from 1869-1870. Dr. Elliot Coues was an avid bird-watcher, historian and scientist who published many articles about the flora and fauna of the area. A picnic area with 22 tables, benches and 11 grills is open year-round. Eleven shelters are available at the park. This park is a day-use area only. The park offers a modern bathhouse, boardwalk and swimming area in the beautiful emerald green Atlantic Ocean. For the early morning beachcomber, sea shells are plentiful. The swimming area is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Nature programs are available at the park at scheduled times or upon request. Contact the p
There is a concession stand where cold drinks and candy can be purchased. The stand is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Park Hours: November-February the bathhouse area is open from 8 am - 5:30 p.m. - the Fort area is open 8:00 am - 6:00 p.m.; March and October the bathhouse area is open from 8 am - 7 pm - the Fort area is open 8 am - 6 p.m.; April, May and September the bathhouse area is open 8:00 am-8 p.m. - the fort area is open 8:00 am - 7:00 p.m.; June-August the bathhouse area is open from 8:00 am-9 p.m. - the Fort is open 8:00 am - 8:00 p.m. Office hours: 8 am-1 pm, 2 pm-5 pm Monday through Friday. The park is closed Christmas Day.

Recreation
The park offers a beautiful white sandy shell-dotted beach, a favorite for beachcombers. There is a seaside bathhouse and refreshment stand open during the summer months. Lifeguards are present Memorial Day through Labor Day.

One of the park's main attractions is the actual fort. You may choose to take a guided tour or conduct your own following the printed guide available at the bookstore. A small museum is associated with the fort.

There is one short nature trail through a dense ticket and along a protected sand dune. Viewing coastal plant life and bog habitat is very rewarding.

Picnicking is offered including grills, tables, shelters and restrooms.

Fish are abundant in the inlet and the ocean. Flounder, bluefish, spot, croaker, sheepshead and whiting provide plenty of sport and lots of good eating. Fishing may be enjoyed throughout the year at Fort Macon. Nature programs are available at the park at scheduled times or upon request. Contact the park office for more information.
Cultural History Programs–Several Civil War reenactments take place at the fort throughout the year. Tours and programs of the historic fort are also available at scheduled times. Groups can request special times by contacting the park office.
Environmental Educational Learning Experience (EELE) Booklet–Barrier Beginnings. Grades: 6, 7, and 8. Introduces students to the geologic process of barrier island movement and the plant and animal communities that make this dynamic system their home. Major concepts covered include: coastal processes, coastal geology, weather, succession and stewardship. This publication is available free of charge to North Carolina educators through an EELE workshop. Contact the park office for details.
There is a concession stand where cold drinks and candy can be purchased. The stand is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Park Hours: November-February the bathhouse area is open from

Parking is handicapped accessible, as well as a picnic table, restrooms and a ramp leading from the bathhouse to the ocean. Not all areas of the Fort are accessible. Restrooms at the bathhouse are closed from November 15 to March 15.

Location
Turn south on US 70 in Morehead City, crossing the bridge to Atlantic Beach. Turn left onto Highway 58 South.

Climate
Winter daytime temperatures average above 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures range from 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 27 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging more than 52 inches (132 centimeters).

Address
P.O. Box 127
Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

Phone: 252-726-3775

Fax: 252-726-2497

Email: ftmacon@nternet.net
  • Fort Macon State Park Travel Q&A

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