• Cape Lookout Lighthouse from Barden Inlet

    Cape Lookout

    National Seashore North Carolina

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  • 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 »

Wildlife Closures

Wilson's Plover Chick
Drivers should keep watch for chicks, like this Wilson's Plover, hiding in the sand and grasses.

Shoreline closures to motor vehicles are seasonal or temporary with the exception of these permanent closure areas:

  • Shackleford Banks
  • Ramp 41a to Ramp 41b (lighthouse swim beach)
  • Power Squadron Spit west of the Jetty
  • Portsmouth Village
Loggerhead Hatchling

Loggerhead hatchling safe inside a closure.

In general, the shoreline is open to pedestrians. Exceptions will be posted.

Boaters can expect interior bird closures, signed closed to all entry, at the inlets and points from April 1 to August 31. Boaters are encouraged to land within 0.25 miles of the inlets. This allows pedestrians to walk the inlet shoreline for access to the ocean shoreline.

A map of North and South Core Banks which shows ramps connecting the ocean beach and the backroad is available in the Beach Driving brochure (575 KB).

The annual nesting reports can be found on the Wildlife Management webpage.


South Core Banks

The Coast Guard dock is closed due to hazardous conditions.

Middle Core Banks

Due to inlet locations, Middle Core Banks is closed to motor vehicles.

North Core Banks

All nesting activity has ended for the season: all wildlife closures have been removed.

Information is correct as of November 22, 2013

Did You Know?

Scotch Bonnet sea shell

The Scotch Bonnet is North Carolina's state shell. It is one of many that can be found along the beaches of Cape Lookout National Seashore.