Fourth of July Week: Enjoying Your National Parks on the Outer Banks

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Date: June 28, 2018
Contact: Mike Barber, 252-475-9032

National Park Service staff at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial look forward to welcoming visitors to the Outer Banks over the Independence Day holiday next week.

The three national park sites on the Outer Banks conduct a large number of free programs with Park Rangers. Below is a helpful listing of programs being offered starting this Saturday (6/30) through next Saturday (7/7). Not visiting next week? Many of the programs take place weekly through the rest of the summer.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Designated as the United States’ first National Seashore, Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) includes 67 miles of ocean-facing beaches, sound-side recreational areas, three lighthouses, and three visitor centers.


Programs with a Park Ranger (Park Calendar)

Ocracoke Island

  • The base of the Ocracoke Lighthouse will be open for viewing on July 1 from 1:45 pm to 3:45 pm and July 7 from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. Visitors are encouraged to walk or bike to the lighthouse due to very limited parking.
  • Crabbing with a Ranger: July 2 and July 4 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am. Learn all about crabbing. Pre-register in person at the Ocracoke Visitor Center starting June 30.
  • Pirates!: July 2 from 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm and July 4 from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Learn about Blackbeard and others. Meet at the Ocracoke Visitor Center Amphitheater.
  • Barrier Island Nature: July 2 from 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm and July 5 from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Join us for a talk about the wild side of the park. Meet at the Ocracoke Visitor Center Amphitheater.
  • Ocracoke After Dark: July 2 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Bring blankets and chairs for an evening of stargazing on the beach! Bring bug spray. Meet at the Ocracoke Day Use Beach.
  • Cast Netting: July 3 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am. Cast netting is one of the oldest forms of fishing. Pre-register in person at the Ocracoke Visitor Center starting June 30.
  • Ocracoke History: July 3 from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Learn about the island’s rich past. Meet at the Ocracoke Visitor Center Amphitheater.
  • All About Sea Turtles: July 4 from 10:30 am to 11:00 am and July 6 from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Activities especially for kids. Meet at the Ocracoke Visitor Center Amphitheater.
  • Banker Ponies: July 5 from 10:30 am to 11:00 am. The Banker Ponies are definitely an Oracoke must-see! Bring bug spray. Not recommended for those allergic to horses. Meet at the Ocracoke Pony Pens.
  • Outer Banks Bird Walk: July 6 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am. Meet winged residents and those traveling the Atlantic Flyway. Bring bug spray. Meet at the ferry parking lot at the north end of the island.
Hatteras Island
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Climbing: Tickets sold from 9:00 am to 4:25 pm daily.
  • Barrier Island Dynamics: daily from 10:30 to 11:00 am. How do people, plants, and wildlife adapt to barrier island geologic change? Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion.
  • Cape Hatteras Light Station Talk: daily from 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Discuss the details and history of this beautiful sentinel. Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion.
  • Hurricane Alley: June 30, July 1, July 2, and July 7 from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm. Hurricanes and nor’easters are a fact of life here. Learn how these powerful storms shaped the Outer Banks. Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion.
  • Fish With a Ranger (Buxton): July 2 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am. We have poles, you bring the bait. Pre-register at the Hatteras Island Museum (or call 252-475-9622) beginning June 30.
  • All About Turtles: July 3, July 4, July 5, and July 6 from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm. Join us for an activity-based program on the life and times of the endangered sea turtle. Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion.
  • Morning Bird Walk: July 3 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am. Beginner and experienced birders alike can come explore the beach and salt marsh bird habitats. Binoculars are available. Bring bug spray and sunscreen. Meet at the fish cleaning tables near off-road vehicle ramp 44.
  • War on Hatteras: July 3, July 4, and July 5 from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Learn of three wars that impacted the island. Meet at the Hatteras Island Visitor Center Pavilion.
  • Night Sky Over Hatteras: July 3 from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Bring blankets and chairs for this evening of stargazing on the beach. Bring bug spray. Meet at off-road vehicle ramp 43 parking lot.
  • Cast Netting: July 4 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Casting a net from shore is one of the oldest methods of fishing. Pre-register in person at the Hatteras Island Museum starting June 30.
  • Dark Skies and Stars: July 4 from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Bring blankets, chairs, and telescopes for this evening of night sky viewing on the beach, including some distant fireworks. Meet at off-road vehicle ramp 25 parking lot with bug spray.
  • Fish with a Ranger (Rodanthe): July 5 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am. We have poles, you bring the bait. Pre-register in person at the Hatteras Island Museum (or call 252-475-9622) beginning June 30.
  • Soundside Seining: July 6 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am. Discover the wildlife wonders of the Pamlico Sound using seining nets. Water shoes that secure onto your feet are required; no flip-flops. Wear clothing you can get wet. Meet at the Sandy Bay soundside parking lot.
Bodie Island
Ocean Safety
If you are planning on entering the Atlantic Ocean during your visit to the Seashore, we highly recommend learning about ocean safety. Daily rip current forecasts are listed on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The safest places to swim are located at lifeguard beaches. There are three beach locations along the Seashore that are staffed with lifeguards from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The locations are:
  • Ocracoke Island: Ocracoke Day Use Beach, 1.5 miles south of the National Park Service campground.
  • Hatteras Island: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, adjacent to the Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site.
  • Bodie Island: Coquina Beach, located across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse site.

Recreational Activities
The Seashore offers a variety of recreational activities, including beach recreation, off-road vehicle use, fishing, lighthouse climbing, camping, hiking, kayaking, watersports, and wildlife viewing.

Fireworks

Celebrate our freedom by viewing firework shows on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands.
  • Ocracoke Island: on July 3, starting at 9:15 pm, fireworks will be viewable from Silver Lake Harbor.
  • Hatteras Island: on July 4, starting at 9:15 pm, the Avon Fishing Pier will host a fireworks display.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site preserves and interprets the site of the first English Colony in the New World, is the site of the theatrical production, The Lost Colony, and interprets historical events of the Native Americans, European Americans, and African Americans who lived on Roanoke Island.

Programs with a Park Ranger (Park Calendar)
  • The Lost Colony: daily starting at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. Delve into the history and mystery surrounding England’s first attempt to establish a colony in the new world. Meet at the seating area near the reconstructed earthen fort. Immediately following the 10:00 am, 11:30 am, and 2:00 pm programs July 3-5, join costumed cast members from The Lost Colony for a backstage tour of the Waterside Theatre.
  • Coat of Arms (for kids): July 3, July 4, and July 5 from 1:00 to 1:30 pm. John White and the Roanoke Colony had their own unique coat of arms. Join us to learn about coats of arms and create your own. Meet at the reconstructed earthen fort. Immediately following the program, join costumed cast members from The Lost Colony for a backstage tour of the Waterside Theatre.
  • Freedmen’s Colony: July 3, July 4, and July 5 from 3:00 to 3:30 pm. During the American Civil War, Roanoke Island became a safe haven for formerly enslaved people. Discover the successes and failures of the Freedmen’s Colony and its fate after the Civil War. Meet at the seating area near the reconstructed earthen fort.
For full park details, go to www.nps.gov/fora.

Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates the first successful power driven airplane flight, which was made by Wilbur and Orville Wright on December 17, 1903.

Programs with a Park Ranger (Park Calendar)
  • The Wright Legacy: daily starting at 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Discover what inspired the Wrights to defy impossibility in their pursuit of flight, what pushed them to keep going, and how they are remembered in the world today. Meet at the white tent near temporary visitor center.
  • Wind & Sand: daily starting at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Step back in history during this short walk to the actual site of the Wright brothers’ first powered flights. Learn about the events that lead to the first powered flight on that cold December day. Meet at the Camp Buildings.
  • Wright Kite (for kids): July 3, July 4, and July 5 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Use kites to test the winds of Kitty Hawk just like Wilbur and Orville. Bring your own or fly one of ours. Limited kites are available. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Recommended for children six years of age and older.
For full park details, go to www.nps.gov/wrbr.

Social Media
Consider following and tagging your favorite Outer Banks national park site on social media while visiting this summer.



Last updated: June 28, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954

Phone:

(252) 473-2111

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