Change in Harkers Island Visitor Center Hours
Harkers Island Visitor Center hours will be Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. until further notice.
Horse Sense and Survival Tours
Horse Watching on Shackleford Banks at
NPS Image by Felicia Nawn
Join a Park Ranger for a glimpse into the world of the wild horses of Shackleford Banks.
Reservations & information: Cape Lookout (252) 728-2250 ext. 0 and by e-mail. Call for more complete driving directions, a park site bulletin with a map, and answers to your questions.
Reservation Required with Cape Lookout National Seashore. The park will make your ferry reservation for you. Ferry fees will be collected by the ferry service immediately before or after your trip. Fees are priced per round trip. A limited number of spaces are available. Please be on time.
2013 Tour Dates and Times
June 15, Saturday, Island Ferry Adventures
Ferry Phone Number: (252) 728-7555
July 19, Friday, Cape Point Marina
Ferry Phone Number (for directions only): (252) 728-6181
September 22, Sunday, Local Yokel Ferry
Ferry Phone Number (for directions only): (252) 728-2759
October 19, Saturday, Calico Jack's
Ferry Phone Number (for directions only): (252) 728-3575
November 6, Saturday, Outer Banks Ferry
Ferry Phone Number (for directions only): (252) 728-4129
Private Boat Transportation: If you have your own boat, there is no charge for the program. Be sure to note the Shackleford Banks meeting time & location for your trip. You must have a reservation with Cape Lookout National Seashore to participate.
Waiting Lists are kept - and used. If you have a reservation and cannot participate, please call as early as possible so someone else can have your spot.
Young People under 10 or 12 may get bored with our long periods of standing and watching and may need you to take them exploring on their own.
Leaving the Group part way through the trip to explore on your own is possible. Please tell the leader when you leave. Be ready to take yourself back to the ferry departure spot on time.
Walking Shoes: Be prepared to walk through deep sand & wet marshes and climb dune hills. The horses roam far and wide and so we'll be walking to find them.
Weather: No rain dates are scheduled; we plan to go unless the weather is too bad to boat out. You may call Cape Lookout National Seashore before 4:30 p.m. the day before your trip if the weather is chancy. In summer, be prepared for very high heat indexes -- dress in loose fitting clothes and bring extra water.
Closed Toe Walking Shoes That Can Get Wet are recommended. The horses roam far and wide so we'll be walking to find them. Be prepared to walk through deep sand, wade in salt water (in the marsh and /or from boat to shore), wade in fresh water (in rain puddles), and climb steep dune hills. You'll need protection from cactus, sand spurs, and oysters/sharp shells. Closed toe shoes are strongly advised (no flip-flops). Walking barefooted in the water is not advised. In colder months, a small towel to dry feet when changing footwear between (possibly multiple) wading episodes is helpful; you'll be carrying the 2nd pair of shoes. (You may want a change of footwear back at the car for the drive home.) We'll be pushing through prickly needlerush; between this and the bugs, some participants prefer long pants.
Staying Past the Program End may be possible; arrange your pickup time with the ferry operator the morning of the trip.
Remember to bring:
Did You Know?
Once they reach the ocean, male sea turtles never return to land while females only come ashore to nest. Cape Lookout National Seashore More...