• Cape Lookout Lighthouse from Barden Inlet

    Cape Lookout

    National Seashore North Carolina

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Hurricane Arthur Advisory #7

    Recovery continues following Hurricane Arthur. Long Point cabins 1-4 remain closed. All Great Island cabins are now open and all other areas of the park are open under normal operations. More »

Laws & Policies

Rules & Regulations Wildlife Nesting &
Vehicle Closure Areas
Superintendent's Compendium (2013) (896 KB, pdf)
Local park rules regarding fires, pets, beach driving, camping, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36
Federal rules governing what happens in a National Park.
Current Wildlife Closures
North Carolina State ATV Regulations
The state regulations went into effect December 1, 2005
Annual Wildlife Reports


Federal Firearms Regulations

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit our state's website:

Concieled Handguns Receprocity

North Carolina Firearms Laws, updated 12/2011 (pdf, 2.2 MB) -- a quick guide to NC handgun laws can be found on pages 41 and 42.

Federal law (Title 18-Part 1-Chapter 44-Section 930) prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; Including but not limited to,

  • all residences, administrative and maintenance buildings at Shell Point on Harkers Island,
  • all employee and volunteer residences within the park,
  • the Light Station Visitor Center and the Keepers' Quarters Museum at the Lighthouse Complex on South Core Banks, and the Lighthouse itself,
  • all buildings occupied by park staff and volunteers at:
    • Great Island,
    • Long Point,
    • Portsmouth Village

All of these places are marked with signs at all public entrances prohibiting the carry of weapons, concealed or otherwise. For more specific information call or email this park.

Did You Know?

Portsmouth Life-Saving Station crew pose in their surfboat.

"You have to go out, you don't have to come back" was the unofficial motto of the U.S. Life-Saving Service. The Life-Saving Service rescued shipwreck victims from stations located in Portsmouth, and on Core Banks and Cape Lookout. Cape Lookout National Seashore More...