Beach Access and Park Issues
September 16, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...

National Park Service continues to open seashore facilities and access

National Park Service facilities continue to reopen at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, after Hurricane Irene shut the seashore down before its Aug. 27 arrival.

NPS facilities that reopen on Hatteras Island on Thursday, September 15, 2011:

  • The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Visitor Center, and Museum of the Sea in Buxton are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Frisco Bathhouse is open to beachgoers. Portions of the handicapped accessible boardwalk sustained storm damage and remains closed.
  • The Haulover soundside access and parking lot are open; the restroom facilities remain closed.
  • Billy Mitchell Airport is open.
  • Frisco Campground is open (one loop).
  • Weather Bureau Station in Hatteras Village is open from 9 a.m. to 50 p.m.

NPS facilities on Hatteras Island that remain closed:

  • Cape Point Campground - closed for the season.
  • Salvo Day Use area near Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo - closed while the site is used for Dare County storm debris disposal.
  • Seasonal off-road vehicle (ORV) access to the village beaches in front of Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo (Tri-Villages) - will remain closed to ORVs at the request of Dare County until the Tri-Villages reopen to visitors.

Other NPS facilities:

  • All other park visitor center and contact stations on Bodie and Ocracoke islands are open, except for the Bodie Island Lighthouse Visitor Center, which remains closed due to storm damage
  • In response to visitors now being allowed on Hatteras Island, the NPS will be offering a modified fall program season Sept .15 – Sept. 30:  Barrier Island Nature will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; and Outer Banks History will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  Each program is free and 30-minutes long.  Meet at the pavilion on the grounds of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
  • Oregon Inlet and Ocracoke campgrounds are open 
  • All lifeguarded beach operations have ended for the 2011 season

Beach and soundside access throughout the Seashore:

  • Ramps that are open to pedestrian and ORV access:  Ramps 2, 4, 27, 30, 34, 38, 43, 44, 45, 49, 55, 67, 70, and 72.
  • Ramps 1, 59 and 68 are open to pedestrian access but closed to ORV access.
  • Beaches that are seasonally closed to ORVs in front of Avon (4 miles) and on Ocracoke (2.5 miles) will reopen to ORVs on Sept. 16.
  • The Tri-Villages (Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo) beaches will remain closed to ORVs, and Ramp 23 is closed to entry at the request of Dare County until visitor access is allowed back into those villages.
  • Night driving from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for ORVs on any open and accessible beaches is allowed with a valid, signed permit. The permit must be in plain view on the dashboard of the vehicle. The free permits are available at NPS visitor centers and ranger stations, local tackle shops, and on-line at:
  • Most of the established soundside access areas in the National Seashore are open to pedestrian or ORV access.

On-site signage provides the most accurate and current indication of public use restrictions or closures.

Knowledge of tidal changes and rough surf conditions is important, as some beach areas may be inaccessible at high tide.  Caution should be exercised while traveling the beaches of the park after any significant weather event. 

For more information, call 252-473-2111 or visit the park website at or check Google Earth maps at


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