Anglers, mariners, and everyday vacationers can enjoy a stunning landscape that’s coupled with miles of fishing, shelling and exceptional views with a visit to Bogue Inlet. Located on the western edge of Emerald Isle, this major body of water is a popular destination for all varieties of visitors, and serves as a gateway for mariners who want to explore the open expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
About the Bogue Inlet
Bogue Inlet is located to the west of the town of Emerald Isle, and is the major body of water that separates the popular barrier island with the isolated and undeveloped Hammocks Beach State Park to the west. The Inlet is not a terribly wide channel, and measures just .75 miles to 1 mile wide depending on the tide. Even so, it’s a popular route for a wide range of mariners, and especially recreational and charter fishermen who want to reach both the inshore waters and the offshore Gulf Stream waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The inlet remains nice and wide throughout the year, and as a result, is relatively able to accommodate vessels of all sizes. The beaches that border the inlet in Emerald Isle are also renowned as popular fishing and shelling grounds, as well as a spectacular venue for sunsets or wildlife watching.
Because the inlet is bordered to the north by the Bogue Sound, and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean, visitors who pay a visit to the beaches surrounding either side of Bogue Inlet, (either via Emerald Isle or Hammocks Beach State Park), will be treated to exceptional panoramic views in virtually every direction.
Accessing the Bogue Inlet
Visitors by land or sea will both find easy ways to access the inlet waters, where great fishing, shelling and views await.
Beach-goers who want to park and stroll can head to one of several small public parking areas in the Town of Emerald Isle. The Channel Drive parking area, which is the closest parking site to the Bogue Inlet, offers 2 handicapped parking spaces, while the Wyndtree beach access site has one handicapped parking space.
Most visitors will want to access the Bogue Inlet and the adjacent “Point” beach by parking at the Station Street Park, which is located at the intersection of Station Street and Coast Guard Road. This site has 15 parking spaces, and from here, visitors can access the beach via Channel Drive, and be roughly .4 miles away from the edge of Bogue Inlet.
Mariners will have the easiest time accessing Bogue Inlet via the massive NC Wildlife Resources Commission Boat Launching Facility in Emerald Isle. The facility is located on 6800 Emerald Drive near mile marker 18 on NC 58, and is adjacent to the famed Chapel of the Sea. The site has four launching ramps and parking available for 112 vehicles with trailers, as well as a separate parking area with 18 singular vehicle spaces. There is no fee to launch a boat from this site, and the wide ramps can accommodate vessels of all sizes. Best of all, once launched, mariners will be less than a mile away from the heart of the inlet, and the ensuing Atlantic Ocean waters.
Mariners with smaller vessels will also find a number of soundside vacation rentals in the town of Emerald Isle that offer private boat docks, launching areas, and / or all of the above. Check with your local Crystal Coast accommodations provider or property management company to pinpoint homes or condos in the area that have accompanying docking or launching areas.
Ways to Enjoy the Bogue Inlet
Whether you take a stroll to the adjacent beach, famously known as “The Point,” or cruise through the inlet on an in-depth adventure, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this stretch of unique Crystal Coast shoreline.
Charter Fishing – A number of charter fishing businesses and recreational fishermen use the Bogue Inlet as a gateway to exceptional fishing in the open ocean. Decent inshore fishing can be found just 1-5 miles outside the inlet, while the Gulf Stream – where the big catches like sailfish, dolphin, wahoo and tuna can be found – is roughly a 15 mile cruise away. Because the Bogue Inlet is close to one of the largest boat launch sites on the Crystal Coast, as well as several charter businesses based in Emerald Isle, Swansboro, Cedar Point, and other barely-inland communities, reaching the ocean waters is a journey that’s easy to plan, and which takes just minutes once you’re in the water.
Surf Fishing – Anglers may have to walk a bit to get to The Point, but once they reach this inlet-facing beach, they will be rewarded for their efforts with some of the best surf fishing conditions on the East Coast. Because the Bogue Inlet connects the open ocean with the Bogue Sound, anglers can expect to reel in a large variety of traditionally coveted catches, including seasonal puppy, red and black drum, trout, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, pompano, cobia, croaker, spot, sea mullet, bluefish, and much, much more. The fall and spring months are prime fishing months on the Crystal Coast, but anglers throughout the year will find decent conditions on this consistently fruitful beach.
Boating – Visitors can explore a wide range of waters by launching into the Bogue Sound. Mariners who want to discover a nicely secluded beach can head west to Hammocks Beach State Park, while fishermen who crave a deep sea adventure will be minutes away from the open ocean. In addition, the Bogue Inlet directly connects with the Intracoastal Waterway, as well as a number of channels and creeks that head inland to Cape Carteret, Cedar Point, and Swansboro, which means that mariners that launch close to Bogue Inlet will find miles of waterfront terrain to discover in veritably every direction.
Shelling – The Point is arguably one of the best shelling beaches in Emerald Isle, thanks to both sound and ocean-facing shorelines, and proximity to the rushing Bogue Inlet that connects with miles of ocean and sound waters. Best after a low or high tide, and particularly after a storm, shell hunters who explore the beaches bordering the Bogue Inlet can expect to find a wide variety of treasures, such as sand dollars, whelks, Scotch Bonnets, olive shells, augers, coquinas, and many more coveted varieties.
Birdwatching – The relative isolation of The Point compared to other Emerald Isle beaches makes this shoreline that borders the Bogue Inlet a prime destination for birdwatchers. In addition, because birdwatchers can explore both ocean-facing beaches and quieter soundside terrain with a single stroll, the variety of different birds in the area is impressive, and ranges from shorebirds to water birds. Be on the lookout for oceanside residents, such as terns, skimmers, and American oystercatchers, which all seem to prefer this relatively isolated beach.
Photography / Sunset Watching – The Point is an exceptional spot to catch a sunset or sunrise, thanks to terrain that borders water on three sides. Visitors can easily reach this Bogue Inlet beach by parking at the Station Street Park and taking a stroll. As a result, photographers and sightseers will encounter a nice stretch of undeveloped shoreline and miles of water in veritably all directions.
Hiking / Walking – For a brisk hike that doesn’t veer too far away from the beach, The Point is a prime destination. Hikers, walkers and joggers will find nice wide shorelines bordering the Bogue Inlet, as well as ample room to roam and relatively flat shorelines, making it a fine destination to enjoy a seaside walk with an exceptional view. A full trek from the Station Street Park to the edge of the Point and back clocks in at roughly 1.5 miles or so, making it a relatively easy and accessible venture as well.
Tops and Tricks for Visiting Bogue Inlet
- The waters that flow through the inlet are deceptively swift, and as such, swimming, kayaking, or other non-motorized watersports are highly discouraged. Swimmers should steer clear of The Point beaches, while paddlers who want to reach the outlying barrier islands should “cut across” the Bogue Sound closer to central Emerald Isle or Hammocks Beach State Park.
- To enjoy the Bogue Inlet from an entirely new perspective, check out Hammocks Beach State Park. This state park is one of the most popular yet undeveloped beaches along the North Carolina coastline, and is a playground for wildlife lovers of all varieties who want to enjoy kayaking, fishing, shelling, birdwatching, beaching, and even camping.
- For an exceptional view of Bogue Inlet that lasts all vacation long, look for vacation rentals and accommodations that are on the western edge of Emerald Isle. Homes that are located along Bogue Court, Channel Drive, or the aptly named Inlet Drive will likely have outstanding vistas as well as plenty of on-the-water sunsets or sunrises.
Bogue Inlet is one of the most popular waterways along the Crystal Coast, and for good reason. Bordering the edge of Emerald Isle, and located just a shell’s throw away from the Intracoastal Waterway, the Bogue Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean, mariners can experience the best of the beach when they pay a visit to this popular channel of water.