Horse Sense and Survival Tours
Horse Watching on Shackleford Banks at
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. 3001 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. After you make your reservation with the park, contact the ferry to make your reservation for the boat ride. Ferry fees are priced per round trip. A limited number of spaces are available. Please be on time.
2015 Tour Dates and Times
Reserve Your Place! Two steps are necessary:
Departure will be from the Cape Lookout Visitor Center on Harkers Island (GPS use: 1800 Island Rd, Harkers Island, NC 28531) or the Cape Lookout Visitor Information Center located in the Beaufort Town Hall (701 Front St., Beaufort, NC 28516).
Difficulty is moderate. The horses roam far and wide so we'll be walking to find them. We will be climbing dune hills, walking in loose sand, ducking through shrubs and winding through prickly needlerush. Trips from Harkers Island will likely include wading in salt water to our knees and slogging through heavy black marsh mud to our ankles. We will walk at a moderate pace and then stand or sit to watch the horses. In summer, be prepared for very high heat indexes -- dress in loose fitting clothes and bring extra water. In autumn if it's cold we'll do our best not to get wet. There are ticks on the island, so take normal precautions including a tick check when you get home.
Amenities on Shackleford Banks are few and not always handy, be prepared. Visitors arriving from Beaufort may use the dock's vertical ladder to unload or load the boat. They may also pass by the toilets (without washing facilities) on our walk. Visitors arriving from Harkers Island will find no toilets but many bushes on Shackleford Banks. The first steps off and to the boat may include wading.
Weather: Bad weather will only stop us if the ferry does not run. To check ferry status, you may call the ferry after 7 am on the day of the trip.
Footwear. Closed toe walking shoes are necessary to protect you feet from cacti, sand spurs and oysters. See the advisories about mud and salt water above under Difficulty. We advise bringing a change of socks and shoes for the drive home.
Remember to bring: