Several improvements, repairs and enhancements are planned in the months to come for two of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s (CHNS) more popular beach access sites – the Canadian Hole parking area in between Avon and Buxton, and the Frisco Bathhouse.
Frisco Bathhouse Project
Plans are being made to expand the Frisco Bathhouse parking area and to add roughly 40 additional spaces, in an effort to replace the parking area that was located at the old Frisco Pier.
“We were going to keep the Frisco Pier parking lot, but it got wiped out during Hurricane Florence [in 2018], and it didn’t seem like a good choice to try to rebuild it back in a place that is so vulnerable,” said Mark Dowdle, Deputy Superintendent of the National Park Service Outer Banks Group. “The Frisco bathhouse is about a half-mile down the road [from the former pier], and it’s a popular place that gets a lot of use in summer months. It’s also a lifeguarded beach.”
The Frisco Bathhouse project is still in the design phase, and a contractor is working on the plans for the upcoming project. “It won’t look a lot different than it does now, but we will add about 40 additional spaces – or the equivalent of what the Frisco Pier accommodated,” said Dowdle.
Once the design for the Frisco Bathhouse is complete, the schedule for work can be set, which will hopefully be slated for late 2020 or early 2021.
Canadian Hole Project
Meanwhile, concurrent plans are also in the work to make some much-needed repairs to the comfort station and shower/water facilities at the soundside Canadian Hole parking area.
“The comfort station there received a lot of damage from Hurricane Dorian, and the boardwalk received some damage as well,” said Dowdle. “The National Park Service has a team that is dedicated to storm recovery, and they are helping us to design what we hope will be a more resilient layout for possibly both the parking area, and the comfort station, and we are in the very beginning stages of [the process.]”
There is no set timeline for when the Canadian Hole beach access will be fully renovated, but the National Park Service is planning to make some temporary repairs in the immediate future. The comfort station is currently closed, but the parking area remains open for visitors.
Note that during the COVID-10 pandemic and statewide Stay-at-Home order, indoor areas at Cape Hatteras National Seashore are temporarily closed, while beaches, parking areas, and park lands remain open.