The National Park Service will open off-road vehicle routes in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to night driving on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at midnight.
Routes that will be open to night driving are those where no turtle nests remain or a portion of a route where a nest does remain — to the first posted closure in that route. Sea turtle protection areas with daytime corridors in front (seaward) of the nest will be closed at night and no driving is allowed in front of these nests at night.
The seashore’s ORV special regulation states that from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, night driving is allowed on ORV routes, or portions thereof, with no turtle nests remaining. A permit is required for any off-road vehicle use in the National Seashore.
In addition, as of early September 2015, residents and visitors will find the newly constructed Ramp 32 and nearby pedestrian footpath are open to the general public for additional beach access.
During the 2015 summer wildlife breeding season, 289 sea turtle nests have been protected on seashore beaches. As of today’s date, a total of approximately of 104 nests remain in the ground.
Visitors should note they will encounter sea turtle nest protection areas in effect parkwide. Closure conditions may change in the field on short notice and these posted protection areas are closed to all ORV, pedestrian, and pet entry. On-site signage of a closed area will be clearly marked in the field with “symbolic fencing” consisting of wooden or carsonite posts, closure signs, string and black filter fencing.
As a reminder, 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. Pets are strictly prohibited in posted resource protection areas and must be physically restrained at all times on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length.
For further information, please call (252) 473-2111 or check the Google Earth map at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm