Nighttime beach driving will be permitted on Ocracoke beaches except for areas where there still are sea turtle nests.
Nighttime beach driving will be permitted on Ocracoke beaches except for areas where there still are sea turtle nests. Beach-driving permits are required and can be purchased at the NPS Visitors Center.

National Park Service News Release Sept. 14, 2015

At midnight tonight, Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) routes in Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) will reopen to night driving where no turtle nests remain, or to the first posted closure in those routes.

Sea turtle protection areas with daytime corridors in front (seaward) of nests will be closed at night and no driving is allowed in front of these nests at night.

The Seashore’s ORV special regulation states that from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, night driving is allowed on ORV routes, or portions thereof, with no turtle nests remaining.  A beach-driving permit is required for any off-road vehicle use in the National Seashore, including the ramp entry roads. Permits on Ocracoke may be purchased at the NPS Visitors Center at the southernmost end of the village.

In addition, as of early this month, residents and visitors will find the newly constructed Ramp 32 (on Hatteras Island) and nearby pedestrian footpath are open to the general public for additional beach access.

During this summer wildlife breeding season, 289 sea turtle nests have been protected on Seashore beaches.  As of today, a total of approximately of 185 nests remain in the ground. Visitors should note they will encounter sea turtle nest protection areas in effect parkwide.

Closure conditions may change in the field on short notice and these posted protection areas are closed to all ORV, pedestrian and pet entry.  On-site signage of a closed area will be clearly marked in the field with “symbolic fencing” consisting of wooden or carsonite posts, closure signs, string and black-filter fencing.

Additionally, on Nov. 1, the seasonally closed village beaches (t-villages of Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo, Avon, Frisco, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Campground) will reopen to ORV use, except for sections of the beach with sea turtle nest protection areas.  Pets are strictly prohibited in posted resource protection areas and must be physically restrained at all times on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length.

For further information, please call (252) 473-2111, or check the Google Earth map at:

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