• 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.

Boat Ramps & Launch Points

Launch areas for all boat types

Carteret County

Free boating access ramps are provided on the mainland by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The closest ramps to the islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore in Carteret County are listed below. A checkmark (√) symbol indicates those ramps considered fully accessible due to designated disabled user parking, paved walkways to the launch ramps, and barrier free docks.

Access Body of Water Boat Access Area Directions/Notes

Intracoastal Waterway Morehead City Travel east along US 70 2.7 miles form the intersection of US 70 and NC 24, turn right beside Visitor's Center. Area located behind Visitor Center.
Taylor's Creek Beaufort From the Beaufort US 70 drawbridge, travel east along US 70 for 1 mile and turn right on Lennoxville Road. Proceed 1.6 miles and the access area is located on the right along the waterfront in Graydon Paul Park.
North River Strait's Landing Travelling east on US 70 from Beaufort, approximately 0.75 miles east of Otway at the intersection of US 70 and SR 1332 (Harkers Island Road), turn right onto SR 1332. Travel approximately 3.8 miles to the area. Area will be located on the right just before crossing the causeway onto Harkers Island.

Oyster Creek Oyster Creek Beginning from the junction of US 70 and NC 101 east of Beaufort, travel east on US 70 for 18.5 miles. The area will be located on the right.
Salters Creek Salters Creek From Beaufort travel east on US 70 toward Cedar Island, area located at the northeast end of the high-rise bridge that crosses Nelson's Bay at the community of Sea Level.
Pamlico Sound Cedar Island Travel on US 70 east from Beaufort then NC 12 to Cedar Island. Entrance to area is located on Driftwood Road 0.1 mile before state ferry entrance.


Harkers Island

The privately operated marinas on Harkers Island allow boats to launch for a fee. Contact the marina directly for rates.

Ocracoke Island (Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

A public boat ramp is located on the northeast side of the National Park Service public parking lot. Parking at the Ocracoke boat ramp parking lot is limited to 1 week/7days after which all vehicles (including boat trailers, recreational vehicles, etc.) must be removed for at least 24 hours.

 

Launch Points (no ramp) - non-motorized small craft

East Harkers Island

The picnic area located directly across the road from the Visitor Center has a small sand beach.

If the wind is out of the southwest, a more protected area is located at the end of the road.

For your safety do not launch in the park's boat basin.

If you are going out overnight you may leave your vehicle in the picnic area parking lot or the visitor center parking lot. The visitor center parking lot is locked at 5:00 pm and reopened at 8:30 am each day. Be sure to let the park rangers in the Visitor Center know you are leaving your vehicle in this lot.

Beaufort Waterfront

At the Jaycees Town Park there is a small sand beach from which to launch. The beach is on Front Street across from the Post Office.

Ocracoke Island (Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

All boats should be launched from the ramp on the northwest side of the public parking lot. However, this ramp is subject to the conditions of the open Pamlico Sound. To obtain permission to launch from the NPS docks into the protected waters of Silver Lake, contact the Ocracoke Visitor Center (phone: 252-928-4531) to make arrangements.

Did You Know?

Lightning and Knobbed Whelks

Lightening whelks and knobbed whelks can be distinguished by the direction their spirals open. Lightening whelks open on the Left side. Cape Lookout National Seashore More...