The National Park Service Outer Banks Group summer programs are now underway. A wide variety of programs is being offered, including arts and crafts for kids, campfires and night-sky gazing, history and nature walks and talks, and recreational opportunities, such as surf fishing and snorkeling.
Summer programs on Hatteras Island at Cape Hatteras National Seashore will run from May 27 – Labor Day. Programs at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Bodie and Ocracoke islands on Cape Hatteras National Seashore will start on June 12 and run through August 20.
Additionally, the visitor center and museum at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be open for the extended hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The lighthouse itself will open for the extended hours of 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The visitor centers at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Bodie and Ocracoke islands on Cape Hatteras National Seashore will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
With the spotlight this year on the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Outer Banks Civil War programs are being presented at both Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Three special tours will be offered this summer. The U.S. Coast Guard Station Tour will provide an up-close look at Coast Guard operations and vessels at Oregon Inlet and Hatteras stations. Old Days at the Hatteras Weather Station relays the history of this recently restored building and U.S. Weather Bureau operations on Hatteras Island. Night Climb – a guided night tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – will be available twice every Thursday evening. Pre-registration is required for this program.
Evening Campfire programs are offered at the seashore on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. A special seashore evening program, Night Lights, will include an exploration of star gazing and tide-line bioluminescent plankton, along with a discussion of why dark nights are valuable to both people and wildlife. This program will be offered on Hatteras Island at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
The summer program schedules also include many other history talks, nature walks, and recreational programs such as surf fishing, cast netting, crabbing, seining, and snorkeling.
Program schedules are available on-line at each park’s website: Fort Raleigh NHS, www.nps.gov/fora; Wright Brothers NMEM, www.nps.gov/wrbr; and Cape Hatteras NS, www.nps.gov/caha. Program schedules are also listed in In the Park, the National Park Service Outer Banks summer newspaper, available at any park visitor center and Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Welcome Center starting May 28.
The Full Moon Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will also return this year on June 15, July 15, Aug. 13, and Sept. 12 – watch for details to be announced.
For more information on visiting the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, go to http://www.nps.gov/caha/index.htm
Click here for Hatteras Island summer programs
Click here for Ocracoke summer programs