News Release

Group of three national park sites in eastern North Carolina hosted record number of visits in 2021

Large group of visitors enjoy the beach near water.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site visitors enjoy the beach at Etheridge Point over the July 4th holiday weekend.

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News Release Date: February 10, 2022

Contact: Michael Barber, 252-270-5389

MANTEO, N.C. — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial combined to host nearly four million visits in 2021.

In addition to the record number of combined visits hosted last year by the group of three national park sites, Cape Hatteras National Seashore broke a long-standing visitation record and welcomed over three million visitors for the first time ever. America’s first national seashore hosted 3,206,056 visits in 2021, which was more than 20% higher than 2020 and over 35% higher than the ten-year visitation average (2011-2020). Campsites reserved at Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s four campgrounds saw a 58% increase over reservations in 2020.

At Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island, 293,609 visits were hosted in 2021. Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills hosted 482,192 visits, the highest amount in over ten years.

Annual Visits - Top 5
Cape Hatteras/Fort Raleigh/Wright Brothers

Year Total Combined Visits
2021 3,981,857
2002 3,643,196
2003 3,549,979
1998 3,514,778
2000 3,321,605


“While it has been challenging to accommodate 600,000 more visits than just two years ago, the staff at these three parks are committed to not only maintaining the same visitor experiences as before but improving upon them as much as possible.” said David Hallac, superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “For example, thanks to hard work and innovation over the past year, many visitors this year will enjoy the new Bonner Bridge Pier for the first time, and a new text alert service launched late last year now helps visitors plan their trips and stay connected with their national parks in Dare and Hyde counties.”

Text Alerts
Sign up to receive information on all three parks by texting NPSOBX to 333111. Subscribers to the text alert service can easily unsubscribe by texting STOP to 333111. Standard text message and data rates may apply.

Visitors interested in receiving off-road vehicle updates can now sign up for text alerts by texting CAHAORV to 333111.

Upcoming Public Meetings
In the coming months, a series of public meetings will be held to review achievements and challenges over the past several years and to receive public input on strategies to help preserve park resources and continue to provide high quality visitor experiences.

A public notification of the dates, times and locations of these public meetings will be made once details are finalized.



Text alert advertisement featuring bronze sculpture of three individuals with monument in background.
Text NPSOBX to 333111 to receive operational updates, general information and more for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial.

Last updated: February 10, 2022

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Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo , NC 27954

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252 473-2111

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