The east side of Cape Point in Cape Hatteras National Seashore reopened to off-road vehicle (ORV) access today.
According to the newly adopted Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan, the
designated ORV route from 0.4 mile north of Ramp 43 to Ramp 44 and
south to Cape Point is currently open to ORV traffic from 7 a.m. until
9 p.m. daily. The night-time beach driving restrictions are still
in effect on all seashore beaches from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.
ORV access is allowed along the ocean on the route to Cape Point, but the pre-nesting areas on upper beaches are still closed.
ORV access is allowed only for about two-tenths of a mile around the
Point on the west side. The rest of the ORV route on the west side is
closed for nesting colonial waterbirds, including about a dozen black
skimmers, said Park Service biologist Britta Muiznieks.
Eleven piping plover chicks fledged at Cape Point this year.
Last week, Muiznieks said that there was one remaining chick in the
area, but today she said that chick was presumed lost after the Park
Service looked high and low for several days late this week and could
not locate it.
Cape Point closed to ORVs this year on April 9, so it has been closed for almost four months
Last year, Cape Point closed on March 18 and reopened on July 18, exactly four months.
The Park Service reminds drivers and pedestrians that a number of
resource protection areas remain in place for sea turtle nests on
seashore beaches. To date, a record number of 204 turtle nests
have been laid and nesting activity continues. Both bird and sea
turtle protection areas are posted and signed with symbolic fencing and
are closed to vehicle and pedestrian access. Pets must be leashed
at all times.
For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm