• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beach Access Report for July 28 2011

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Date: July 29, 2011
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111

 National Park Service Beach Access Report for July 28, 2011

             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 28, 2011

             CONTACT: 252-473-2111, ext. 148

 Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches are being managed under the terms of the U.S. District Court approved consent decree. Park visitors can expect to see resource closures for breeding shorebirds in effect to varying degrees from mid-March to mid-to-late-August and sea turtle nesting closures may occur until early November. Shorebird pre-nesting closures have already been established at the inlets, Cape Point, and South Beach. As soon as subsequent breeding activity is observed, the consent decree requires that automatic, non-discretionary buffers be implemented. 

As of May 1, 2011, all Seashore beaches are closed to off-road vehicles between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in accordance with the court-ordered consent decree. The 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. prohibition on beach driving will remain in effect until November 15, 2011.

In addition, the annual seasonal closure of village beaches to off-road vehicle (ORV) use within the National Seashore went into effect at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 15, 2011. The beach driving speed limit is reduced from 25 mph to 15 mph in all locations open to ORV use, unless otherwise posted, from May 15 – September 15. The ORV closures are established in village beach areas that receive heavy pedestrian use, including areas adjacent to Coquina Beach and the villages of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.

The Beach Access Report is issued every Thursday throughout the breeding season, and updated news will be reported weekly in bold, BLUE print. *All distances are approximate. The mileage is determined on a weekly basis using GIS data and is divided geographically by island this year. The weekly Beach Access Report is complemented by a Google Earth map, which is updated up to 5 times per week as access conditions change.  The latest Google Earth beach access map can be viewed at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm. For more information, check the National Seashore’s website at:  http://www.nps.gov.

Note:  Closure conditions may change in the field on short notice. On-site signage, rather than the Beach Access Report or Google Earth map, is the most accurate and current indication of what is open or closed to the public.  Closed areas are clearly marked in the field with “symbolic fencing” consisting of wooden or carsonite posts, closure signs, string, and flagging tape. Knowledge of tidal changes and caution should be exercised while traveling the beaches of the park. Pets are strictly prohibited in resource protection areas. Elsewhere, pets must be physically restrained at all time on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length.  For more information, please contact: e-mail us or call 252-473-2111, ext. 148.

 Bodie Island  (Ramp 1 to Oregon Inlet; 6.0 miles of ocean shoreline)

Mileage Summary:  2.6miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 1.4miles open to pedestrians only;  2.0 miles closed to public access due to resource closures. Note: Green Island, southwest of Oregon Inlet bridge, is closed to public entry.

 Ramp 1 - Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area)  (1.2 miles)

Status: The beach is open for pedestrian access, but not for ORV access.

Ramp 2 - Ramp 4   (2.4 miles)

Status: Ramp 2 is closed for ORV access. North of Ramp 4, the beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 2.4 miles.

 Ramp 4 – Oregon Inlet   (Bodie Island Spit: 2.0 miles)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access south of Ramp 4 for approximately 0.3 of a mile. A pedestrian only corridor extends south for an additional 0.2 of a mile of oceanside access. A resource closure on the ocean shoreline precludes ORV and pedestrian access to Oregon Inlet. Two previously established “limited access” areas around the tip of and along the soundshore of Bodie Spit are now closed to public entry due to piping plover chick activity.

Hatteras Island (Ramp 23 South to Hatteras Inlet; 42.8 miles of ocean shoreline)

Mileage Summary: 17.8 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 17.9 miles open to pedestrians only; 3.2 miles of “limited access;” and 3.9 miles closed to public access due to resource closures.

 Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo - Ramp 23:  (Pea Island NWR boundary to Ramp 23 – 3.0 miles)

Status: The beach in front of the villages of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo is closed to ORV access. The annual seasonal village closure is in effect from May 15 through September 15, 2011.  The beach in front of the villages is open for pedestrian access for 3.0 miles. A resource closure located 0.1 of a mile north of Ramp 23 precludes ORV access to the north.

 Ramp 23 - Ramp 27: (4.3 miles)

Status: Thebeach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 3.9 miles south of Ramp 23.

 Ramp 27 - Ramp 30:  (2.1 miles)

Status: Ramp 27 is closed to ORV access and pedestrian access. There is ORV and pedestrian access for 1.1 miles north of Ramp 30.

Ramp 30 - Ramp 34: (4.3 miles)

Status: Thebeach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 30 and 0.1 of a mile north of Ramp 34. Two full beach closures for sea turtle nest protection areas preclude through ORV and pedestrian access.   There is approximately 3.0 miles of “limited access” between the two closures.

 Ramp 34 - Ramp 38: (3.9 miles)

Status: The beach in front of Avon Village is closed to ORV access. The annual seasonal village closure is in effect from May 15 through September 15, 2011. The beach in front of Avon Village is open for pedestrian access for 3.9 miles.

Ramp 38 - Ramp 43: (6.0 miles)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 2.1 miles south of Ramp 38 and 0.4 of a mile north of Ramp 43. There is pedestrian access 1.0 mile north of Buxton Village and from Buxton Village beaches south for approximately 2.8 miles to Ramp 43.

Ramp 43 - Ramp 44:  (0.4 of a mile)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access south to Ramp 44.

Ramp 44 - Ramp 45: (Ramp 44 to tip of Cape Point: 3.4 miles)

Status: Ramp 44 is open to ORV and pedestrian access south along the east side of Cape Point for approximately 1.0 mile and then west for approximately 0.2 of a mile. The Interdunal Road and Ramp 45 are open to ORV and pedestrian access. ORV and pedestrian access is open 0.2 of a mile east of Ramp 45. Salt Pond Road is closed.

 Ramp 45 - Ramp 49: (South Beach: 3.4 miles)

Status: Ramp 45 is open.  There is ORV access 0.7 of a mile west of Ramp 45 and pedestrian access for 1.2 miles west of Ramp 45.  There is no through access between Ramp 45 and Ramp 49.

Ramp 49 - Ramp 55: (5.9 miles; includes Sandy Bay soundside parking area)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.7 miles northeast and 0.3 of a miles south of Ramp 49. There is pedestrian, but not ORV, access from the Frisco village line to 0.1 of a mile east of Ramp 55.

Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet:  (Hatteras Inlet Spit: 2.2 miles)

Status: ORV and pedestrian access is open along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 55 south/west for 2.4 miles and approximately 0.3 of a mile west around the tip of Hatteras Inlet to the soundshore. The Pole Road is open to ORV and pedestrians. The Spur Road is open to ORV and pedestrians for soundside access. Cable Crossing is open with limited parking for ORVs and soundside access for pedestrians.

Ocracoke Island  (20.5 miles of ocean shoreline)

Mileage Summary: 6.6miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 9.3 miles open to pedestrians only; 4.6 miles closed to public access due to resource closures.

Hatteras Inlet (North Ocracoke Spit) to Ramp 59: (1.4 miles)

Status: Ramp 59 is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.2 of a mile north of the ramp. A resource closure precludes access to North Ocracoke Inlet.

 Ramp 59 - Ramp 67:  (7.8 miles)

Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 1.0 mile south and 1.1 miles north of Ramp 67 where a full beach closure precludes through ORV and pedestrian access. The beach is open for pedestrian access for 2.7 miles south of Ramp 59 and 3.7 miles north of Ramp 67.  A total of approximately 6.4 miles of pedestrian access (via NC 12) is located between the two closures.

 Ramp 67 - Ramp 70 (includes Ramp 68):  (3.9 miles; includes Ramp 68)

Status:  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 0.6 of a mile between Ramp 67 and Ramp 68.  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 0.5 of a mile south of Ramp 68 and ORV access for .04 of a mile north of Ramp 70.

 Ramp 70 - Ramp 72:  (1.8 miles)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.7 miles south of Ramp 70 and 0.1 of a mile north of Ramp 72 where a sea turtle nest protection area precludes through access.

 Ramp 72 to South Point: (2.6 miles)

Status: The beach is open to ORV for 0.9 of a mile south of Ramp 72 and pedestrian access for 2.5 miles south of Ramp 72.

Temporary resource protection areas are necessary to protect threatened and endangered species and species of concern including piping plovers, American oystercatchers, colonial waterbirds (3 species of terns and black skimmers), and sea turtles.  Posted areas are closed to vehicles, pedestrians, and pets.

Did You Know?

The Principal Lightkeeper's Quarters and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move toward their new homes, a safer distance from the ocean.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick structure ever moved. When it was built in 1870, it stood 1,500 feet from the shore. By 1999, the lighthouse was within 100 feet of the ocean. To protect it from the encroaching sea, it was moved inland a total of 2,900 feet over a 23-day period.