Tips for Beach Driving
Off-road vehicle users can help insure that these stretches of beach remain available for beach driving by following the regulations and guidelines listed below.
Avoid Damaging Vegetation:
Drive only on the ocean side of dunes, on officially marked trails, and in parking areas. (Information on parking permits and a pdf of the application can be found on the Long-Term Parking Permits page.)
Do not drive on or between the dunes, except on marked routes.
Drive only on the ocean side beach or back road, not on the Core Sound side beach.
The sand flats on North Core Banks are closed to vehicles except on the posted trail to Portsmouth Village.
The speed limit is 25 miles per hour or as posted.
Beach pedestrians always have the right-of-way. The speed limit is reduced to 15 miles per hour within 100 feet of any person lying, standing, or walking on the beach. Drive slowly and detour around them.
Watch for fishing lines.
Open alcoholic beverage containers are illegal in moving vehicles. Never drink and drive.
Protect the Beach and its Wildlife:
Be alert for and obey signs which indicate closed areas.
The following areas are closed to all vehicular traffic, except NPS authorized vehicles performing park management functions:
Look for beach signs which indicate a protected area.
Ask a park ranger about current beach conditions.
Carry an off-road kit containing the following equipment:
Lower the pressure in all tires to a recommended 20-25 pounds before you drive onto the sand.
Reinflate tires to normal pressure as soon as possible upon returning to the mainland.
Did You Know?
Diamond City was a shore-based whaling community located where Barden Inlet now separates the islands of Shackleford Banks and South Core Banks. Crews would row whaling dories out from shore to chase the whales as they migrated past the island. Cape Lookout National Seashore