Cape Point closes to off-road
Hatteras National Seashore officials today closed Cape Point to
Deputy Superintendent Darrell Echols made the announcement, which he
termed a “temporary” ORV access closure of the popular Cape Point area
in accordance with the requirements of the consent decree.
On March 18, 2011, just south of Ramp 44 along the ocean shoreline,
National Park Service staff observed piping plover breeding behavior,
which is the reason for the closure.
The width of the beach is very narrow in the area commonly known as
"the bypass" and the required consent decree buffer of 50-meters to the
north and south resulted in the full beach closure. There
currently is not an alternative ORV access route to Cape
Because of the steep beach slope, pedestrians will be allowed to walk
through the inter-tidal zone to access Cape Point.
This is the earliest that Cape Point has been closed to ORV access
under the consent decree – or perhaps ever.
Last year, ORV access wasn’t stopped until mid-May when the first
piping plover nest in the Cape Point area hatched. In 2009,
traffic to the Point was stopped because of nesting oystercatchers just
south of Ramp 44. And in 2008, ORV access to Cape Point was
closed the first week in May, just after the consent decree was signed,
because of courting oystercatchers.
For more information on beach access, see:
call 252-472-2111, ext. 148.