Fort Macon State Park

Explore the outdoors on your Crystal Coast Adventure with a hike at Fort Macon State Park. Located on Bogue Banks near Atlantic Beach, Fort Macon is surrounded by three sides of water – the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort Inlet and Bogue Sound. At the restored fort, you’ll see bunks, cannons, a restored rations storage room, artifacts and more. The fort contains 26 vaulted rooms which are enclosed by 4 ½ -feet thick walls. Fort Macon is one of the finest surviving examples of 19th century military architecture and fortification.

You can choose from three hiking trails at Fort Macon State Park:

Beach Trail

The beach is always available for hikes. As you walk along the beach you may see one of the 302 different species of birds found in the park or experience the thrill of watching dolphins playing in the ocean.

Location: On the Beach

Surface: sand

Length: 1.5 miles one way

Difficulty: easy hike

Elliott Coues Nature Trail

The Elliott Coues Nature Trail is a new hiking trail that connects the Fort area with the Swim Beach area. It stretches approximately 3.2 miles round trip and travels along the marsh, through the maritime forest, and through the sand dunes. The trail can be accessed both at the Fort parking lot or the Beach Access parking lot. Park visitors are reminded that these two parking lots have separate closing times and these times change throughout the year based on the month, so please be mindful of your time if you start your hike later in the afternoon.

Location: North end of the Fort area parking lot & Northeast corner of the Beach Access parking lot

Surface: natural surface, sand, gravel, boardwalk/bridge

Length: 3.2 miles loop

Difficulty: moderate hike

Yarrow’s Loop

Yarrow’s Loop is a short quarter mile nature trail that starts and ends at the north end of the fort parking lot. Information signs along the trail tell about some of the common plants and animals that can be found in the park.

Location: Fort Parking Lot

Surface: natural surface

Length: 0.25 miles loop

Difficulty: easy hike

Fort Macon State Park is open; however, the fort is closed due to COVID-19.

Open to the Public

Fort Macon State Park is open; however, the fort is closed due to COVID-19.


Images provided by Fort Macon State Park.

Drive Time
22 min.
Distance from Hotel
11.6 miles
Old miltary fort with american flag

Locals Recommend

“Beautiful park. Terrific walking path with amazing beach view. Easy parking and access. Naturally amazing!”

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Situated on ten acres, the Beaufort Hotel is offers the privacy of a boutique hotel within minutes to some of the best experiences you’ll enjoy on the Southern Outer Banks.

During your stay, discover, experience, and explore Beaufort – named the “Best Small Town for Adventure” in America by USA Today.

The Beaufort Hotel is a private escape that’s close to every kind of adventure you can imagine. We encourage you to explore like a local, as we give you a slice of what it’s like to live here on the Crystal Coast.

Attraction Details

Good to Know

  • Family-Friendly
  • Free Admission
  • Groups Welcome
  • Free Parking

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