• Cape Lookout Lighthouse from Barden Inlet

    Cape Lookout

    National Seashore North Carolina

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  • ORV Plan Comment Period Extended

    On May 23, 2014, the NPS released a Environmental Impact Statement for its Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan for a 60-day comment period, which was extended to September 4. The comment period will be extend an additional 15 days until September 19, 2014.

Places

Cape Lookout Lighthouse Area

 
Cape Lookout Light Station (1883)
Cape Lookout Light Station (1883)
 

This "diamond" patterned tower that stands today was first lit on November 1, 1859 and remains an active navigational aid. It was the second lighthouse built to warn mariners away from the deadly Lookout Shoals.

Directly north of the lighthouse, is the 1873 keeper's quarters which now houses exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the islands. There is a seasonal visitor center with restrooms along the boardwalk, between the passenger ferry dock and the lighthouse. The summer kitchen and one of the fuel sheds also stand in this area, but are not open to the public.

More information can be found in the light station pages, including the lighthouse timeline. The lighthouse is open for regular climbing during the summer: learn more on the lighthouse climbing page.

 

Historic Villages

Cape Lookout National Seashore protects the sites of historic villages and communities.

 
Portsmouth Life Saving Station

Portsmouth Village Historic District--on North Core Banks across the inlet from Ocracoke--was once a lightering port, where the cargo from heavy seafaring ships was unloaded onto smaller ships which could navigate the shallow waters of the sound. Learn more about Portsmouth Village and the first hospital building in North Carolina in the following pages.

The Cape Lookout Village Historic District covers the area from the lighthouse down towards the point of the cape and includes a relocated keeper's quarters, an historic Coast Guard station, a Life-Saving station and boathouse, fishing cottages, and several other buildings.

More information on the park's history and culture can be found in the park brochures.

Did You Know?

Machine Gun Nest

During World War II, two 6 inch guns were mounted along the beach and two machine gun nests were built off the main road in the Cape Lookout Village Historic District. Cape Lookout National Seashore