The National Park Service reopened some
off-road vehicle routes in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to
night driving early this morning.
The seashore’s ORV special regulation
states that from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, night driving is allowed on
vehicle routes, or portions thereof, with no turtle nests remaining.
Where turtle nests remain, the beaches are closed, as they are in the
summer, from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Beginning today, the seashore will
begin listing night driving openings and closures on the ramp status
update table that is pinned to the top of the seashore's Facebook
The ramp status table is updated every
Yesterday, Hatteras Island district
ranger Joe Darling reported the status of night driving in the
Open 1.4 miles to the north of the ramp.
Open 0.35 miles south of the ramp.
Ramp 48 and
Ramp 49: Closed to night driving because of turtle nests.
Ramps on northern Hatteras and Bodie
Island and on Ocracoke that are open to ORVs at night will be listed
today on the ramp status report.
Ramps with turtle nests in place on
portions of the routes will have yellow reflective posts in place to
delineate night driving boundaries, Darling said.
The seashore so far has reported a
record 323 sea turtles nests this year. Many had hatched before
Tropical Storm Hermine passed over the islands over Labor Day
weekend. About 121 nests remained in the ground before the storm,
and about 47 were lost. That left somewhere around 70 nests that
still could hatch.
As more nests hatch, more ramps and
routes will be opening to night driving.
All ORV routes are open to night
driving on Nov. 16.
Also, on Nov. 1, the seasonally closed
village beaches (tri-villages of Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo, Avon, Frisco,
Hatteras, and Ocracoke Campground) will reopen to ORV use, except for
sections of the beach with sea turtle nest protection areas.
The seashore's Facebook page can be
The ramp status update is also
available on The Island Free Press. From the Home Page, click on
Beach Access and Park Issues. See the ramp status update in the blue
bar at the top of that page.