Take the Ferry.
Bald Head Island is only accessible by boat, so step aboard. The Bald Head Island passenger ferry in Southport, NC makes trips to and from the island daily. Current rates are $22 per adult and $11 per child (age 3-12). Children 2 and under are free. For ferry schedules, maps, and helpful hints go to www.baldheadisland.com. For more info call (910) 457-5003
On the Island.
Once you arrive, look up and you’ll see “Old Baldy” Lighthouse - a 5 minute walk from the ferry landing. Rent a bike or golf cart in order to explore the island fully. Call 910-457-4944 for more info on cart rentals. Take Lighthouse Wynd to the Lighthouse.
Get a Sticker.
Enter the Keeper’s Cottage and purchase your admission sticker. This is good for all day until closing.
- Adults (age 13 and older) $6
- Children (ages 3-12) $3
- Infant (ages 0-2) FREE
Explore the Museum at the Keeper’s Cottage.
Now you are ready to visit:
- Keeper’s Cottage (the Smith Island Museum of History). Learn about lighthouse keepers, pirates, surfmen, and more in this authentic recreation of an 1850's era house.
- Learn about maritime history on the island. Find out how a Lyle gun was used. Read a lightkeeper’s journal.
- Old Baldy LighthouseStep into adventure – up 108 steps, 5 landings and climb a ship’s ladder into the lanthorn room for the best view on the island. Children (anybody under the age of 12) are not allowed to climb the lighthouse on their own – must have adult supervision.
- Oil House This was built to hold the kerosene oil that fueled the beacon light at the top of Old Baldy. During WWII, it served as a radio station for US Coast Guard.
Step into the Past.
During the Civil War, Old Baldy was contained in part of an earthen works complex known as Fort Holmes. Over 1,100 Confederate soldiers, and other people essential to running the fort were camped on this and much of the surrounding property. Walk the boardwalk off of Lighthouse Wynd to see the remains of sand curtains, Battery no. 4 and a magazine bunker used to help defend the Cape Fear and blockade runners from the Union Navy.
Dial & Discover. 910.368.4074
Use your cellphone to aid in your exploration. Dial the number and follow the prompts to hear an audio-narrative guide you through the campus and Fort. Holmes.
At the keeper’s cottage you’ll find a wonderful selection of lighthouse, Old Baldy, beach and pirate themed mementos, gifts, books, maps, postcards, clothing and decorative items.