Change in Harkers Island Visitor Center Hours
The Harkers Island Visitor Center is open Sunday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Morehead City Harbor Dredged Material Management Plan
Cape Lookout National Seashore is a cooperating agency in the Morehead City Harbor Integrated Dredged Material Management Plan being developed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The full plan draft can be downloaded from the following link. More »
Seashore Announces Summer Programs
Contact: Wouter Ketel, 252-728-2250 ext. 3005
Harkers Island, North Carolina. Superintendent Bob Vogel announces the summer activities starting Saturday, May 28 through September 4th, at the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Working in cooperation with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, the Carteret County Parks and Recreation, the Davis Island Fishing Foundation, and on-land transportation companies, the seashore has been able to add a number of new programs, new program formats, and additional locations.
Superintendent Vogel stated that “we are again very excited and pleased that these partnerships will enable the park to expand the programs for the public and we are hoping that they will be well attended.” Additional programs may be offered. Programs will run on schedule, unless there is inclement weather. For more information of these programs and other program offerings call the Harkers Island Visitor Center at (252) 728-2250 for a complete schedule. Shackleford Banks
Horse Sense and Survival (4 hours) By Reservation Only
Program dates are June 23, July 19, September 24, and October 14
The wild horses on Shackleford Banks are fascinating to observe, but may be difficult to find. Join a Park Ranger for a day-long walking trip to find horses and watch their behavior. The park will arrange transportation by local ferries and there will be a charge for this ride. If you have your own boat, call the park for the reservations and meeting locations. There is no charge for the walking program. Come prepared for a day in the sun and walking through deep sand. Bring water, lunch, bug repellent, sunscreen, a sun hat, binoculars, and camera with telephoto lens. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes to walk in deep sand and those that can get wet and muddy. Call the Cape Lookout National Seashore at (252) 728-2250 for reservations.
Cape Lookout Lighthouse
Lighting the Way (Daily, 15 minutes)
Come learn the history of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and the life of a lighthouse keeper. Programs begin at 10:15 AM, 1:15 PM, and 3:15PM on the porch of the Assistant Keepers Quarters next to the Lighthouse.
Taken by Storm (Daily, 30 minutes)
Nor’easters and hurricanes are a natural part of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Historic storms of the past have left behind stories and scars that live long beyond those who lived through them. Programs begin at 10:30 AM at the pavilion near the Cape Dock.
Uncover Lighthouse History (Programs are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 1 hour)
Walk the Cape Lookout Boardwalk with a Park Ranger to search for clues of the Cape Lookout Light Station. Learn why the Cape Lookout Light Station was needed and what changes have occurred throughout the years, the story of the people who lived there, and the story behind what still stands here today. Bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent and dress for the weather. Programs begin at 12:30 PM and 2 PM at the pavilion near the Cape Dock.
Shifting Sands and Colossal Forces (Programs are Monday and Wednesday, 1 hour)
Cape Lookout National Seashore’s barrier islands are often compared to living things. Discover the story of the skeleton-like old fossilized shells, the islands’ attempts to react to environmental forces, and the birth and death of new portions of the island. Bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, and dress for the weather. Programs begin at 2:00 PM at the pavilion near the Cape Dock.
Barrier Island Ecology (Programs are Tuesday and Thursday, 1 hour)
Join the North Carolina Coastal Federation for an educational walk from the estuary to the ocean. Learn about animal and plant adaptations for life on the barrier island, the constant migration of these barrier islands, and environmental issues the Cape Lookout National Seashore faces today. All ages are welcome. Please wear comfortable walking shoes, clothing, and appropriate sun-gear. Programs begin at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM at the pavilion near the Cape Dock.
Tidal Flat Exploration (June 9 and 23rd, July 31, and August 14th, 1 hour)
Join the North Carolina Coastal Federation to explore tidal flats and search for wanderers, burrowers, and hunters that call these sandy areas home. Discover the survival techniques of whelks, worms, wentletraps, and other marine creatures. Wear shoes to protect your feet and be prepared to get wet. Programs begin at 11:00AM on June 9 and June 23rd and at 11:30AM on July 31st and August 14th at the pavilion near the Cape Dock.
Cape Lookout’s point
Cape Lookout Shoals (Saturday, 30 minutes)
Learn about the shoals off Cape Lookout’s point and their effects on fishing, shipping, commerce, local culture, and the development of barrier island communities. Bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, and dress for the weather. There are no amenities near Cape Lookout’s point. Meet the Park Ranger on the ATV with the green flag at 11:00 AM at the point.
Shipwreck Stories (Daily, 30 minutes)
Meet the Park Ranger on the ATV with the green flag at 1:00 PM at the point to discover why the waters off of Cape Lookout National Seashore are referred to as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. Learn of the ships that sank and the heroic rescue efforts of the Lifesaving Service, and discover the geologic processes that made it all happen. Bring sunscreen, water, bug repellent, and dress for the weather.
Living on the Edge (Sunday, 1 hour)
Take a hike with a Park Ranger from the edge of the United States. Discover beach treasures while learning of their origin. Stories of the sea are written on the Cape Lookout beaches and one can discover tales by learning to read the beach. The hike is a moderate one mile round-trip through sand and surf. Bring water, lunch, bug repellent, hat, binoculars, and camera. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes to walk in deep sand and those that can get wet and muddy. Program begins at 11:00 AM at the point.
Marsh Hike (Daily, 1 hour)
Join a Park Ranger at the Harkers Island Visitor Center for a hike along the Harkers Island Nature Trail. Discover how Harkers Island acts as a crystal ball because it was once a barrier island very similar to Shackleford Banks. Discover the changes that occur as barrier islands age. The hike is an easy one hour hike. Bring bug repellent and dress for the weather. Programs begin at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM at the Harkers Island Visitor Center.
(Museum is located in Beaufort, N.C.)
Explore the Shore (Programs are on June 16, July 14, July 28, and August 11, 45 minutes)
Join a Park Ranger for a virtual tour of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Discover the natural and cultural history of the park from Portsmouth Village to Shackleford Banks. You will learn of wild horses and lighthouse keepers, shipwrecks, storms and sea turtles. Programs begin at 3:00 PM at the museum.
Portsmouth Village Guided Tour (Thursday, 1 hour)
Join a Park Ranger for this guided tour through historic Portsmouth Village. Discover what life was like for those who once called Portsmouth and the Outer Banks home. Bring drinking water, bug repellent and sunscreen. There are no amenities in the village. Programs begin at 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM at the Haulover Point dock in Portsmouth Village.
Did You Know?
Cape Lookout National Seashore is home to many endangered and threatened species of plants and animals including the Seabeach Amaranth, Piping Plover, and Loggerhead sea turtle.