A Summer Evening at Fort Macon State Park

A Favorite Destination

Fort Macon is one of several attractions found along the Crystal Coast in Carteret County, North Carolina. Being close to home it should be no surprise that I visit it often. In the cooler months I like to explore the Elliot Coues Nature trail in search for wildlife and interesting trees to photograph. During the hotter months I tend to spend more time exploring the beach area.

An Evening at the Park

I’ve visited the park a couple of times recently. These explorations took place in the late afternoon, early evening. Due to park hours it’s difficult to visit during a sunrise or sunset but early evening visits can be productive. The following are some images from those visit.

The Photography

A rare, vacant section of beach at Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The ocean is relatively calm. Small, gentle waves wash up onto the sand. Lovely clouds paint a tranquil scene in the sky above. it is a late summer evening along the Crystal Coast, the Southern Outer Banks.
This sandy path leads to the beach at Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Not the most frequently used trail, a worn, weathered and broken wooden sand fence helps to keep the dune and vegetation from over taking the path. This popular park is located on one of several barrier islands that protect the coast of North Carolina. The beach borders Beaufort Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. One of several attractions found along the Crystal Coast, hiking, swimming and surf fishing are popular activities in the park.
A Sanderling, Calidris alba, feeds along the beach at Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The park is one of several attractions found on the Crystal Coast. Offering hiking, fishing, swimming and the chance to experience history, it is a popular stop for tourists and locals alike.
Sea Oats rise up from the sand along the beach at Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Beaufort Inlet is seen in the distance, the Atlantic Ocean beyond. The park features an undeveloped beach, a Civil War era fort and the Elliot Coues Nature Trail. Popular activities include hiking, surf fishing, bicycling and bird watching. Beach combing is another popular endeavor.
I stopped to photograph this Yucca plant growing along the Elliot Coues Nature trail in Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Native to the Southeastern United States, this plant is found throughout the state.
This is one of several paths leading from the fort parking area to the beach at Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Off to the right of this trail and sandy path leads to an overlook under a large, protected shelter. The state park is located at the eastern end of NC highway 58 on Bogue Banks, a barrier island located along the Crystal Coast. The park includes beach, a visitor center, a Civil War era fort, hiking trails and a swimming area. There is no camping o the property.
There is a small rock jetty located at the swimming area at Fort Macon State Park. The last sand replenishment project covered much of the small jetty. A few boulders continue to stick out above the sand. In this image a wave rushes up on the sand and around one of the rocks. A slow shutter speed was used to add a sense of movement to the salt water. This digital image was made on a hot, mid-July evening at about sunset. The golden light of the setting sun is reflected on the rock with hints of warm color seen on the blue water. The beaches of the Crystal Coast are some of the prettiest to be found on the East Coast.
The summer sun sets over Atlantic Beach and North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. The view is from the swimming area for Fort Macon State Park, looking west. Fort Macon is located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks, one of the many barrier islands along the Carolina coast. One of the first state parks in NC it features a Civil War era fort, pristine beaches and a lovely hiking trail. The park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The setting sun paints the sand and waves with orange hues on a warm July evening along the beach at Fort Macon State Park. Gentle surf washes up on shore, creating interesting lines in the sand and leaving treasures behind for intrepid beach combers. The park is located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks, one of many barrier islands of the Outer Banks along the North Carolina Coast. Surrounded by the park is the US Coast Guard station, Fort Macon. The USCG base bears the name of the old civil war fort that is the center piece of the state park. The island and adjacent mainland Carteret county communities collectively make-up the Crystal Coast. The area is well known for its excellent inshore and deep water fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, surfing and other outdoor activities. Fort Macon is located in the sea side town of Atlantic Beach. Emeral Isle is located on the opposite end of the island. Between these two beach towns are the communities of Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path and Indian Beach.
Gentle waves washing up on the beach surround a lone boulder at Fort Macon State Park. Located on the island of Bogue Banks in the community of Atlantic Beach, NC, the park is one of the most popular state parks in North Carolina. Here is seen one of the boulders of a small rock jetty emerging from the sand. Much of this jetty was covered by a recent sand replenishment project. One of two jetties located in the park, this scene is found at the swimming area.

This entry was posted in Avian Photography, General Photography, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Uncategorized.


  1. Steve Heap September 7, 2022 at 8:00 am #

    Great story, Bob. It is a shame the park isn’t open for sunset as I am sure you could get some lovely images then! The little Sanderling is a great capture and the wave behind it helps place it in its environment. I am also partial to the one with the sea oats. Those often make a great foreground for a beach image. I have one of my own from Florida: https://www.pictorem.com/553288/Madiera%20Beach%20and%20sea%20oats%20in%20Florida.html
    I’m not sure about the color and black and white version of the paths to the beach. I wonder if the B&W one could be more contrasty perhaps to make the subject (which I think is the path) clearer to the viewer.

  2. Katrina Gunn September 10, 2022 at 9:09 am #

    I think the sea oats photo is the best of the bunch, but I am not certain why it works so well (yet). The beach sunset with the clouds has lovely colors to it.

  3. Anne Haile September 10, 2022 at 10:53 am #

    This is a lovely story and a great reminder of how wonderful lit is to be besides the seaside

  4. Bill Swartwout September 11, 2022 at 6:52 am #

    Very nicely done, Bob. Even though you may not have access to catch a sunrise or full sunset, you have a group of outstanding coastal images here. It’s tough to pick a “favorite” but I might have to lean toward the sea oats.

    I have an affinity for old forts and just checked out Fort Macon with Google’s satellite view. It looks like a place I want to visit – and might be able to make that happen on our winter foray to Myrtle Beach.

  5. jim hughes September 15, 2022 at 6:51 pm #

    My favorite, oddly, is the totally vacant beach. I like the way it fits in the frame, with all that flat untroubled space in the foreground.

  6. Louis Dallara September 26, 2022 at 7:04 am #

    Bob; Great story and beautiful captures of the coastal region.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *