Discounted Annual Freeman Park Passes Available Until Jan. 7th

The Town of Carolina Beach began selling 2021 Freeman Park vehicle access passes on December 1st. From now until January 7th, people who purchase the passes in person at several locations in Town will receive a large discount. The passes allow people to use 4x4 vehicles to access the beach within the park. The Town of Carolina Beach began selling 2021 Freeman Park vehicle access passes on December 1st. From now until January 7th, people who purchase the passes in person at several locations in Town will receive a large discount. The passes allow people to use 4x4 vehicles to access the beach within the park.

Discounted Annual Freeman Park Passes Available Until Jan. 7th Featured

By / Local News / Monday, 14 December 2020 01:35

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH  - Just in time for Christmas, the Town of Carolina Beach began selling annual vehicle passes for Freeman Park on December 1st at a discounted "Early Bird" rate of $110.00. After January 7th, the price will increase to $225.00.

Freeman Park, located beyond the end of Canal Drive in Carolina Beach has been a popular destination for four wheel drive enthusiasts for many years. The Town of Carolina Beach manages the area as a park and charges for vehicle access and camping permits. Daily Passes are sold only at the entrance of Freeman Park using a 24 hour pay station.  The pay station accepts credit cards and cash.  During peak season and hours, an attendant is available to assist with the machine. Daily access pass costs are as follows (effective January 1, 2020):
•April 1 - September 30, Mon-Fri, $30 per day
•April 1 – September 30, Sat-Sun, $40 per day
•October 1 – March 31, Mon-Sun, $20 per day

Overnight camping is only allowed in designated, reserved camp sites Labor Day through the Thursday before Memorial Day each year.  Reservations are on a first come/first service basis.  During this period, there is a $50.00 per night fee for a campsite permit.  

No overnight camping is allowed the Friday before Memorial day through the Sunday before Labor Day.

Freeman Park is largely outside of the Town's jurisdiction. The Town owns the first 1,000 feet beyond of the end of Canal Drive. After that, parcels are privately owned. Private properties west of the front of the dune line are considered private while any portion of a property located east of the front of the dune line is open to public use under State Law as a public-trust  area.

That includes the dry sand beach east to the high water mark. The wet sand beach belongs to the State of North Carolina. The Town has authority to manage the public-trust beach as a park. That was granted to them by the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners some years ago. There is a fee charged for vehicle access to drive on the beach front within the park. The Town doesn't charge people a fee to walk into the park. They can only charge for four-wheel drive vehicle access. The Town has the authority under State Law to “regulate, restrict and prohibit” vehicles driving on the dry sand beach within the public-trust area.

The effects of tides and erosion still exist, and the northern areas of Freeman Park remain closed to all vehicular traffic.

Intermittent closures could still be possible based on limited beach area and level of patron use. Public safety staff will perform assessments regularly to determine when additional sections of the park can safely be opened, or if additional closures are required.

2021 Annual Freeman Park permits may be purchased at the following locations:
• Carolina Beach Town Hall - Billing Department, 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd. Carolina Beach, NC 28428, (910) 458-2999 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
• Town of Carolina Beach Parking Office, 1708 Canal Drive Carolina Beach, NC 28428, (910) 458-4614 Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8AM-5PM
• Island True Value Tackle & Hardware, 801 N Lake Park Blvd. Carolina Beach, NC 28428, (910) 458-3049 Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 6AM-9PM/Friday-Saturday, 6AM-10PM

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