Beach Access and Park Issues
April 30, 2012

Night driving and beach fire restrictions go into effect

In accordance with the Park Service’s new Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Management Plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, night beach driving restrictions for ORV use on seashore ocean beaches go into effect Tuesday, May 1, at 9 p.m. 

From May 1 until Sept. 14, ORV routes on ocean beaches are closed to ORVs from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. during the sea turtle nesting season.  Beginning Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, ORV routes will reopen when there are no sea turtle nests remaining on that route or portion of the route. 

In addition, from May 1 to Nov. 15, beach fires are limited to the ocean beaches adjacent to:

  • Coquina Beach parking lot
  • The villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras
  • Ocracoke Day Use Area

In general, fires are allowed from 6 a.m. until 10, and a fire permit is required.  To obtain the free beach fire permit, visit one of the three ORV permit offices, any of the park campgrounds or visitor centers. Also permits are available on-line at:

The beach fire permit is valid only when a responsible adult (18 years of age or older) is present.  Fires, no greater than 3 feet in diameter, may be ignited and maintained seaward of the ocean dune, below the high-tide line and at least 50 feet from any vegetation.  Fires cannot be left unattended and must be completely extinguished (cold to touch) upon termination of use. 

Also, fires are not permitted in resource closures or within 328 feet (100 meters) of any turtle nest closure.

Clean area of all trash before leaving the beach and remember the “pack in/pack out” practice of leaving national seashore beaches in a clean and safe condition for the next visitor.

As the turtle nesting season proceeds, park visitors will encounter localized sea turtle nest protection areas.  These areas are posted on-site and closed to ORVs, pedestrians, and pets.
Fireworks and metal detectors are prohibited.  Pets must be on leashed at all times.

For further information, please call (252) 473-2111 ext. 148 or check

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