Cape Point is now temporarily closed to ORVs and pedestrians due to newly hatched American oystercatcher chicks, as well as approximately 68 least tern eggs that are expected to hatch in the coming days, per an update from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Prior to Tuesday, June 27, there was a section of Cape Point open via an ORV-only corridor and the sandbar along the beach. After multiple American oystercatcher eggs hatched, the ORV-only corridor was removed and the protection buffers were expanded, resulting in the temporary, full closure of Cape Point to ORVs and pedestrians.
As of Wednesday, June 28, ORVs can drive north when exiting Ramp 44, and pedestrians can walk along Bypass Road for 0.28 miles to gain shoreline access.
Other than 2017, (when Cape Point did not fully close during the nesting season), this is the latest date that Cape Point has closed since at least 2008. Last year, Cape Point closed to ORVs on May 25, 2022.
The closure area may change depending on the movement of the chick(s), and approximately 90% of the ORV routes on Hatteras and Bodie Islands are open to off-road vehicle use.
For updates on current closures and beach access, visit the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s website at https://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.