B.A.R.K. Ranger

Your pets are welcome at Cape Hatteras National Seashore!

Explore over 70 miles of beaches, hike trails through maritime forest, and discover captivating lighthouses -- there's always something to do with your furry friend!

Learn the B.A.R.K. principles so you and your pet can have a safe and fun visit whenever you come.
Blue graphic with paw prints explaining the BARK Ranger Princples

B.A.R.K. Principles:

  • Help keep our beaches and park clean by bagging your pet's waste and disposing it in outdoor trashcans. Pet feces can spread diseases to park wildlife, introduce non-native plant seeds, and pollute water sources.
  • Pets must be restrained on a leash of no more than six feet at all times . Unleashed pets may possibly scare other visitors or run up to another pet who is not friendly. Pets can also run away and become lost in an unfamiliar area.
  • Please do not leave your pet unattended or in a car or tied to an object while visiting. Be aware of the heat.
  • Pets can chase and threaten wildlife, scaring bids and other animals away. Please keep your dog at a respectful distance from any animals you may encounter.
  • Pets are prohibited within any resource protection area in the park.
  • Ensure that all pet food is secured to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Plan ahead and know where you can take your pet. Pets are welcome in all outdoor areas, except designated lifeguarded swim beaches and buildings.
  • Service animals are legally permitted anywhere that visitors can go. A service animal is individually trained to perform a specific task that assists a person with a disability.
"Cape Hatteras Bark Ranger" with three lighthouses at center surrounded by circle of paw prints.

Become a B.A.R.K. Ranger!

Do you want your pet to become an official B.A.R.K. Ranger? Here's what you need to do:

1. Pick up a B.A.R.K. Ranger brochure at any one of the seashore's visitor centers.

2. Learn the four B.A.R.K. principles.

3. Take the B.A.R.K. Ranger pledge at any one of the seashore's visitor centers.

4. Get your official B.A.R.K. Ranger certificate signed and receive a special stamp!

5. Does your pet want to proudly wear the BARK Ranger dog tag? Owners are able to purchase a special Bark Ranger collar tag at the Eastern National Park Store.

Safety Reminders:

-- Do you have enough water for yourself and your pet?

-- Does your pet have the endurance for the heat?

-- Summer temperatures can make the park's pavement, boardwalks, and dry sand EXTREMELY HOT. Pets have sensitive paw pads that can easily be burned by these surfaces. REMEMBER: If it's too hot for your bare feet, it's too hot for theirs.

Go on a grand adventure and become a B.A.R.K. Ranger at other
Outer Banks National Parks!

Two dogs on leashes on the beach.
Kona (left) and June (right) say it's a GREAT day to be a B.A.R.K. Ranger!

NPS Photo / A. Hardin-Lapp

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Wright Brothers National Memorial

Last updated: February 16, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


252 473-2111

Contact Us