National Park Service (NPS)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore facilities and services reopen

National Park Service News Release
Thursday, Oct. 8; 7:35 p.m.

Ocracoke Beach. Photo by P. Vankevich

Ocracoke Beach. Photo by P. Vankevich

All units of the Outer Banks Group national parks are in the process of reopening today, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore has announced.

All ocean and soundside beach areas are being evaluated for safe access for both pedestrians and vehicles.  All Seashore visitor centers (including Ocracoke), information areas and off-road vehicle permit offices (except Ocracoke) are open today.  The Ocracoke ORV permit office is expected to reopen today (Oct. 9.)  

Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site opened and resumed normal hours of operation on Tuesday.

“We are happy to have facilities and services reopened to serve the community and welcome thousands of visitors to their national parks,” David Hallac, seashore superintendent said.  “We were fortunate that Hurricane Joaquin steered away from the Outer Banks and there were no serious personal injuries as a result of the storm’s significant impacts felt on the Seashore.”

Most park operations have returned to normal with the exception of a few of the popular beach access ramps for ORV use.  Park staff are currently working on removal of storm debris as standing water continues to recede.  Daily evaluations of these areas are being conducted with the anticipated reopening of many by this weekend.

The following is a summary of the status of park beach access areas/ramps:

  • Ocracoke Island:

Ramp 59 remains closed to ORV access but is open to pedestrian access

Ramp 67 is open to ORV and pedestrian access

Ramp 68 is open to pedestrians and reopens to ORVs on November 1

Ramp 70 is open to ORV and pedestrian access

Ramp 72 remains closed but ORV access to South Point/Ocracoke Inlet is available via Ramp 70.

All NCDOT ferry service has resumed to Ocracoke Island

Several ramps on Hatteras and the Bodie Island area remain closed but are expected to reopen by the weekend

Tidal levels remain high in the area and beach drivers should use extreme caution and be aware of changing beach conditions, tides and surf conditions in the surrounding areas.

As ORV routes reopen, from Sept. 16 to Nov. 15, night driving is allowed on ORV routes, or portions thereof, with no turtle nests remaining.  A permit is required for any off-road vehicle use in Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  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.

Bodie Island Lighthouse is open to general climbing but the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse remains closed.

All park campgrounds have reopened except Ocracoke, which remains closed due to lingering flooded conditions.  Ocracoke campground is expected to reopen on Friday (Oct. 9).

For general information on the Outer Banks Group national park sites, visit www.nps.gov/caha, www.nps.gov/wrbr, www.nps.gov/fora; Twitter @CapeHatterasNPS, @WrightBrosNPS, @FortRaleighNPS; or call 252-473-2111.