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

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

National Park Service Beach Access Report for May 13, 2010

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Date: May 13, 2010
Contact: National Park Service, 252-473-2111 x148

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.  

Cape Point: The first piping plover chicks (nest # 1) hatched today at Cape Point.  Two additional piping plover nests at Cape Point are expected to hatch on or near May 15. Ramp 44 and access to Cape Point are temporarily closed to ORV access.  Ramp 44 and the ocean beach to 0.3 miles south of Ramp 44 are open to pedestrian access, with no through access for pedestrians to a limited access area at “the hook”.  

As of May 1, 2010, 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. Enforcement of the restriction will begin at midnight on April 30, 2010. The 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. prohibition on beach driving will remain in effect until November 15, 2010.

Reminder: The annual seasonal closures of village beaches to off-road vehicle (ORV) use within the National Seashore go into effect at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2010. In addition, 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.

For brevity sake, the Beach Access Report format has changed this year. The Report is issued every Thursday throughout the breeding seasonand will briefly summarize the current status of access in each section of the Seashore listed below.  Updated news will be reported weekly in bold, BLUE print. 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/caha.

Note:  *All distances are approximate. The mileage is determined on a weekly basis using GIS data and is divided geographically by island this year. Closure conditions may change in the field on short notice. On-site signage, rather than the Beach Access Report or the 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; 5.7 miles of shoreline)

Mileage Summary: 3.3 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 1.2 miles open to pedestrians only; 0.9 miles limited access miles;  0.3 miles closed to public access due to resource closures.

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 open to ORV and pedestrian access. At 6:00 a.m. Saturday, May 15th the annual seasonal ORV closure goes into effect which closes Ramp 2 for ORV access until September 15. There will still be pedestrian access at Ramp 2.

Ramp 4 – Oregon Inlet   (Bodie Island Spit: 2.1 miles)

Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 2.5 miles north of Ramp 4 and0.8of a mile south of Ramp 4.  A resource protection closure in “the Narrows” precludes ORV and pedestrian access to Oregon Inlet.  A resource protection closure on the western shoreline of the Spit near the bridge precludes ORV or pedestrian access to the Bait Pond. 

Hatteras Island (Village of Rodanthe south to Hatteras Inlet; 42.8 miles of shoreline)

Mileage Summary: 16.0 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 14.0 miles open to pedestrians only; 4.7 limited access miles; 8.1 miles closed to public access due to resource closures.

Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo - Ramp 23:  (Pea Island NWR boundary to Ramp 23 – 5.3 miles)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access in front of the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo are open to ORV and pedestrian access for 5.3 miles. At 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 15th the annual seasonal village closures go into effect.

Ramp 23 - Ramp 27: (4.3 miles)

Status: Ramp 23 is closed to ORV and pedestrian access. A resource closure extends from the Salvo Village boundary south of Ramp 23 and precludes ORV and pedestrian access.

Ramp 27 - Ramp 30: (2.0 miles)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access at Ramp 27 for 0.15 of a mile (cul de sac).  A resource protection closure 0.07 of a mile north of Ramp 27 and 0.08 of a mile south of Ramp 27 precludes through access for ORVs and pedestrians.  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 0.6 of a mile north of Ramp 30.

Ramp 30 - Ramp 34: (4.3 miles)

Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 30 and for approximately 2.5 miles north of Ramp 34. A resource protection closure precludes through access to Ramp 34.

Ramp 34 - Ramp 38: (3.9 miles)

Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access.

Ramp 38 - Ramp 43: (6.0 miles; includes the Haulover soundside & Buxton Village)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38, where a resource protection closure precludes through access. There is pedestrian access for approximately 1.0 mile north of the Buxton Village boundary. From Ramp 43 north, the beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.4 of a mile.

Ramp 43 - Ramp 44:  (0.4 of a mile)

Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access 0.1 of a mile south of Ramp 43. A full beach closure precludes through access between Ramp 43 and Ramp 44. 

Ramp 44 - Ramp 45: (Ramp 44 to tip of Cape Point: 1.0 miles; Cape Point tip to Ramp 45: 1.4 miles)

Status: Ramp 44 and access to Cape Point are temporarily closed to ORV access.  Ramp 44 and the ocean beach to 0.3 miles south of Ramp 44 are open to pedestrian access, with no through access for pedestrians to a limited access area at “the hook”.   The campground road and Ramp 45 are open to ORV and pedestrian access. Salt Pond Road is closed. 

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

Status: Ramp 45 is open and there is ORV and pedestrian access west for 0.1 mile (cul-de-sac). A full beach closure located 0.1 mile southwest of Ramp 45 precludes through ORV and pedestrian access to Ramp 49. There is ORV and pedestrian access east of Ramp 49 for 2.1 miles. 

Ramp 49 - Ramp 55: (5.9 miles; includes Frisco and Hatteras Village)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian use north of Ramp 49 and south of Ramp 49 for 1.2 miles to the Frisco Village line. There is pedestrian, but not ORV, access from the Frisco village line to 0.1 of a mile east of Ramp 55.  In Sandy Bay Day Use area, a resource protection closure precludes access of approximately 0.4 of a mile of sound-side pedestrian access adjacent toNC 12.

Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet:  (Hatteras Inlet Spit: 2.6 miles)

Status: ORV and pedestrian access is open along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 55 south/west for 1.1 miles. A resource protection closure precludes through access for ORVs and pedestrians.  The Pole Road is open to ORV and pedestrians from Ramp 55 to the north end of the Isabel overwash area where traffic is routed onto the beach due to a pre-nesting protection area. Cable Crossing area is open for pedestrian sound shoreline access via boat. The Spur Road is closed.  There is currently no ORV or pedestrian access to the inlet. 

Ocracoke Island  (19.8 miles of shoreline)

Mileage Summary: 5.8 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 5.7 miles open to pedestrians only; 0.8 limited access miles;  7.5 miles closed to public access due to resource closures.

Hatteras Inlet (North Ocracoke Spit) to Ramp 59: (1.3 miles)

Status: Ramp 59 is temporarily closed to ORV and pedestrian access.  A resource protection closure precludes access for ORV and pedestrians to the north end and the inlet. 

Ramp 59 - Ramp 67: (7.8 miles)

Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 0.9 mile south of Ramp 59 and for 0.5 mile  north of Ramp 67. There is no through ORV access between these two ramps.  A resource protection closure, located 2.6 miles southeast of Ramp 59, precludes through pedestrian access between Ramp 59 and Ramp 67.

Ramp 67 - Ramp 70 (includes Ramp 68):  (3.8 miles; includes Ramp 68)

Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access. A resource protection closure located 0.3 mile south of Ramp 68 precludes through access for ORV and pedestrians to Ramp 70.

Ramp 70 - Ramp 72:  (1.8 miles)

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

Ramp 72 to South Point:  (2.6 miles)

Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access on the ocean shoreline for approximately 0.4 of a mile south of Ramp 72. A resource protection closure precludes through access for ORV and pedestrians to the inlet.

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?

Lightning whelks are one of the few species of

Lightning whelks eat about one large clam per month. The whelk pries the clam open with its muscular foot, wedges the clam open with its shell, then eats the soft inside of the clam. Lightning whelk shells, which whorl to the left, wash up on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.