September 14, 2012

Some ORV routes will reopen for night driving on Sept. 16


Some of the beaches on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore will reopen to night driving at midnight on Sunday, Sept. 16.

From Sept. 16 through Nov. 15, driving will be allowed only on ORV routes without resources closures or portions of those ORV routes.

The nesting season for shorebirds and colonial waterbirds is about over on the seashore, but snpiy 60 of the record 222 turtle nests remain.  The nests are expanded to the tideline when they are close to hatching, closing off the pedestrian and ORV access in front of them. 

Depending on the nest location, ORVs and pedestrians are sometimes allowed to pass behind the nest.

ORV routes that will open to night driving September 16, 2012 are:
  • North of Ramp 4
  • South of Ramp 44
  • West of Ramp 49
  • The Pole Road to Hatteras Inlet
  • South of Ramp 67

To be sure which ORV routes are open, check the Park Service’s weekly beach access reports and the NPS Google Earth map of resource closures.  You can click on both of these by going to the dark blue bar at the top of the Beach Access Page on the Island Free Press.

Under the consent decree, a night-driving permit was required, but under the Park Service’s ORV management plan and special regulation, which became effective on Feb. 15, no separate permit is needed.  Your permit for ORV access will cover night driving.

Restrictions for resource closures remain in effect until Nov. 15.  From Nov. 15-April 30, ORV routes are open for night driving.

ORV closures in front of the villages of Hatteras Island, which had been lifted on Sept. 15, will remain in effect until Nov. 1 under the new ORV plan.

Driving in front of the villages is allowed from Nov. 1-March 31.

More information on beach driving and ORV permits is available on the Park Service’s frequently asked question, which is also available in the bar at the top of the Beach Access Page.

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