• 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 April 22, 2010

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Date: April 22, 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.  

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.

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:  4.3 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians;  1.2 miles open to pedestrians only;  0.2 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 use.  Area from Ramp 2 to Ramp 4 is open for ORV and pedestrian access.

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

Status:  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 1.9 miles south of Ramp 4 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.  A resource protection closure on the north side of the Bait Pond under the bridge precludes boat landing in the posted area.

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

Mileage Summary:  27.5 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians;  8.5 miles open to pedestrians only;  0.6 limited access miles;  6.2 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.

Ramp 23 - Ramp 27:  (4.3 miles)

Status:  The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 4.3 miles between Ramp 23 and Ramp 27.

Ramp 27 - Ramp 30: (2.0 miles)

Status:  The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 and 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30. A resource protection closure 0.1 miles south of Ramp 27 and 0.7 of a mile north of Ramp 30 precludes through access.

Ramp 30 - Ramp 34:  (4.3 miles)

Status:  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 1.3 miles south of Ramp 30 and 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 is open.  There is ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 44 to Cape Point. A resource –protection closure precludes ORV and pedestrian access from approximately 0.2 miles south/west of Cape Point to approximately 0.2 miles east of Ramp 45.  The Interdunal 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 limited ORV and pedestrian access west for 0.1 mile.  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 ORV access beyond this point.  The Pole Road is open to ORV and pedestrians 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 Summary7.9 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians;  6.3 miles open to pedestrians only; 1.7 limited access miles; 3.9miles closed to public access due to resource closures.

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

Status:  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access to the inlet for 1.0  mile north of Ramp 59.  

Ramp 59 - Ramp 67: (7.8 miles)

Status:  The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for 0.4 mile south of Ramp 59 and 0.7 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 0.7 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)

StatusThe 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?

This artist's rendering shows the U.S.S. Monitor foundering in a storm off of Cape Hatteras in December 1862.

The U.S.S. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras during a storm in December 1862. The wreck's location was a mystery until 1973 when a research vessel found the ship 16 miles off the cape in 230 feet of water. In 1975, the Monitor was named the nation’s first National Marine Sanctuary.