October 22, 2010

The lighthouse will reopen for the 2011 season on Friday, April 16, 2011

Columbus Day, Monday, October 11, was the last day for climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse this season.

The lighthouse will reopen for the 2011 season on Friday, April 16, 2011.
For the 2010 season, approximately 130,000 people have climbed the
iconic lighthouse -- a top destination for Outer Banks visitors.
Built in 1870, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Offshore of Cape Hatteras, the Gulf Stream collides with the Virginia Drift, a branch of the Labrador Current from Canada. This powerful current forces southbound ships into a dangerous 12-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals. Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
 In 1999, after years of study and debate, the Cape Hatteras Light Station was moved to its present location. The lighthouse was moved 2,900 feet in 23 days and now lies 1,500 feet from the seashore, its original distance from the sea.
The National Park Service currently maintains the lighthouse and the keepers’quarters. The U.S. Coast Guard operates and maintains the automated light.

The grounds of the lighthouse are open for picture taking and exploring, and the Visitor Center is open each day from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. except on Christmas.

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