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Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252)473-2111
The National Park Service continues to operate and manage access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches under the Interim Strategy guidance. Beach Access is open as described below.
National Seashore beaches and inlets experience varying degrees of erosion and notable high tides. Travel in many areas may be limited during high wind/tide conditions. Knowledge of tidal changes and caution should be exercised while traveling the beaches of the park. Peak season and visitation to park beaches requires extra precautionary measures on everyone’s part. Please be aware the speed limit on all beaches is 25 mph and travel in areas with high concentrations of people and vehicles may require lower speeds. Use caution! Pets MUST be kept on a 6’ leash at all times.
The Park Beach Access Report is complemented weekly with the Park Resource Management Field Summary.
** Blue text = updated news.
Bodie Island District (Coquina Beach to Ramp 27)
There are approximately 16.5 miles of ocean shoreline in the Bodie Island District (excluding Pea Island).16.1 miles are open to pedestrians and 14.4 miles are open for ORV access.
Ramp 1 - Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area)
A SEASONAL beach closure is 1.6 miles long and went into effect May 15. The beach from the south boundary of the Town of Nags Head to Coquina Beach is closed to ORV access but remains open for pedestrian access.
Ramp 2 - Ramp 4 to Bodie Island Spit
The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 1.3 miles south of Ramp 4 and 2.2 miles north of Ramp 4. Some areas may experience access limitations during extreme high tides or winds.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established at Bodie Island Spit on March 26, 2007. It includes interior areas of the spit and the shoreline of the "pond." Access to pond from the northeast side is closed as part of the RESOURCE protection area. The resource protection area was modified on July 15 to include a closure of 0.9 of a mile (reduced to 0.8 of a mile on July 25) along the ocean/inlet shoreline and to the southwest side of the inlet near the Bonner Bridge due to the hatching of a piping plover nest.On July 25, the ocean shoreline closure was reduced by 0.1 of a mile and this section was re-opened to ORV and pedestrian access. In addition, a modification on the oceanside of the closure was bumped out (eastward) to provide adequate buffer for a least tern colony with hatchlings and active nests. There is an ORV corridor through this area. The 3-egg piping plover nest within the protection area hatched on Sunday, July 22 producing three chicks. As of Wednesday, July 25, one chick still survives. This area is subject to a high risk of predation by fox and raccoons. NPS will continue to provide updates on the situation at this location.
A RESOURCE protection area is established on Green Island for American Oystercatcher and nesting Least Tern nests/colony. The American Oystercatcher chicks have fledged.The island is still closed to landing while nesting activity is in progress.
Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo: (north of Ramp 23 for 3 miles to Pea Island NWR boundary)
Annual SEASONAL village beach closure went into effect on May 15. The beach areas in front of the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo are closed to ORV access but remain open to pedestrian access. This section of beach is approximately 3.0 miles long.
Ramp 23 - Ramp 27 (4.3 miles):
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 4.25 miles between Ramp 23 to Ramp 27. There is no through ORV or pedestrian access through a RESOURCE protection closure which is 350 feet wide and located just south of Ramp 23.
A RESOURCE protection area exists 0.1 of a mile south of Ramp 23 (or 4.2 miles north of Ramp 27) for a turtle nest which is within the hatch window date. This full beach closure is approximately 350 feet wide.
Hatteras Island District (Ramp 27 South to Hatteras Inlet)
The Hatteras District has a total distance of 31.9 miles of ocean shoreline. There are approximately 28.9 miles open to pedestrians and approximately 13.5 miles of beach are open for ORV access. ORV use is restricted by 11.4 miles of SEASONAL and SAFETY closures. Approximately 3.0 miles are closed due to full beach RESOURCE protection closures.
Ramp 27 - Ramp 30 (2.2 miles):
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 and for 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30. Full beach closures exist 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 and 0.7 mile north of Ramp 30. There is no through ORV or pedestrian access through the RESOURCE protection closures. As of July 25, all three RESOURCE protection areas have hatchlings or fledgings of American Oystercatchers and/or Least Terns with a few remaining active least tern nests.
A RESOURCE protection area exists 0.1 mile south of Ramp 27 for American Oystercatchers and a least tern colony. The protection area is 0.2 mile in length.
A RESOURCE protection area exists 0.3 mile south of Ramp 27 for American Oystercatchers. The protection area is 0.1 mile in length.
A RESOURCE protection area exists north of Ramp 30 for American Oystercatchers and a least tern colony. This is a full beach closure with no ORV or pedestrian access through this 0.1 mile length closure.
Ramp 30 - Ramp 34 (4.3 miles):
Beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline for 3.5 miles between Ramp 30 and Ramp 34. As of July 25, both RESOURCE protection areas have hatchlings or fledgings of American Oystercatchers and/or Least Terns with a few remaining active least tern nests.
A RESOURCE protection area exists 3.5 miles south of Ramp 30 (or 0.7 miles north of Ramp 34) for nesting American Oystercatchers and a least tern colony. The protection area is 0.1 mile in length.
A RESOURCE protection area exists 4.1 miles south of Ramp 30 (or 0.1 mile north of Ramp 34) for nesting American Oystercatcher and least tern colony. The protection area is 0.1 mile in length.
Ramp 34 - Ramp 38 (4.0 miles):
Currently, there is no through access for ORVs from Ramp 34 to Ramp 38. Pedestrian access is open.
Annual SEASONAL village beach closure went into effect on May 15. The beach area in front of the village of Avon is closed to ORV access but remains open for pedestrian access.
Ramp 38 - Ramp 43 (6.0 miles):
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.3 miles south of Ramp 38. Currently there is no through access for ORVs between Ramp 38 and Ramp 43.Pedestrian access is open.
A SEASONAL closure, 2.8 miles in length, begins 1.4 miles south of Ramp 38 to 0.1 mile north of Ramp 43, and went into effect on May 16. This section is closed to ORV access but remains open to pedestrian access.
Ramp 43 - Ramp 44 (0.3 of a mile):
The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the ocean shoreline to Cape Point.
Ramp 44 - Ramp 49 (3.6 miles: includes Ramp 45):
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 44 south to Cape Point and from the Cape Point end of the closure south/west for approximately0.1 mile, where there is full beach closure due to a Resource protection area. The full beach closure extends to Ramp 45 and is 1.2 miles in length. The Interdunal Road between Ramps 44 and 45 is open. Salt Pond Road is closed due to a Resource protection area. There is currently no through access between Ramp 45 and Ramp 49.
ORV and pedestrian access is open to Cape Point from Ramps 43 and 44, and south/west from the Cape Point end of the closure along the shoreline for approximately 0.1 mile to where a RESOURCE protection area begins.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established March 27, 2007. It included interior areas of Cape Point and a complete shoreline closure that started approximately 0.4 miles south/west of Cape Point and ended approximately 0.1 east of Salt Pond Road. The total closure distance is 1.2 miles. The first Piping Plover nest (4-eggs) hatched andas of early morning on July 25, the oldest Piping Plover chick is fledged and consistently seen in the area. The second Piping Plover chick (approx. 22 days old) still survives and is nearly fledged. The last known remaining active Piping Plover (3-eggs) nest began hatching on Saturday, July 21 and continued hatching on Sunday, July 22 producing two chicks. One chick was predated. The adult Piping Plovers are foraging within the closure and are with the single surviving chick as of July 25. In addition, an active least tern colony near the Salt Pond Road area has hatchlings and fledgings and extends to Ramp 45.
The Interdunal Road is open to ORV and pedestrian access between Ramps 44 and 45. Salt Pond Road is closed due to a RESOURCE protection area (described above). There is currently no through access between Ramps 45 and 49 due to two full beach closures, each approximately 600 feet in length, for American Oystercatcher chicks and a least tern colony.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area), along the upper beach, was established in March from Ramp 45 to the west. The total closure distance was 1.4 miles along the upper beach. On June 5, 2007, American Oystercatcher chicks hatched producing three chicks and a full beach closure, 600 feet in length, was implemented approximately 0.9 mile west of Ramp 45 or 2.3 miles east of Ramp 49. There is no ORV or pedestrian access through the 600 feet full beach closure. As of July 25, three American Oystercatchers chicks survive but have not completely fledged.
A RESOURCE protection area, 1.8 miles north of Ramp 49, was established on June 21, 2007 for Least Tern colony hatchlings. The closure is 0.3 mile in length and is a full beach closure with no ORV or pedestrian access. As of July 25, there are hatchlings and fledgings and a few remaining active Least Tern nests in this closure.
Ramp 49 - Ramp 55 (5.9 miles: includes Sandy Bay soundside parking area):
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 1.1 miles south of Ramp 49 to the boundary of the Frisco andHatteras Village closure. Pedestrian access is open to Ramp 55. There is no through ORV access between Ramp 49 and Ramp 55.
A SEASONAL closure for Frisco Village and Hatteras Village is 4.0 miles long and went into effect on May 15. The beach area in front of the villages of Frisco and Hatteras is closed to ORV access but remains open to pedestrian access.
Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet (2.7 miles):
ORV and pedestrian access is open along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 55 south to 0.35 miles north of the Hatteras Inlet and "the Rip" area. The Pole Road, Cable Crossing and Spur Road are all open.
A RESOURCE protection area is located on the sound shoreline of both Isabel overwash areas. Pole Road and ocean shoreline access remains open past this area.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) at the southern end of the spit has been removed. ORV access is open on both the ocean shoreline and sound shoreline almost to the Rip; however, an ORV SAFETY CLOSURE exists due to narrow sections of beach north of the Rip on both sides. Pedestrian access is open around the entire tip of the inlet from oceanside to soundside. The area continues to be evaluated for re-opening to ORV use as soon as reliable access on the oceanside at high tide permits safe travel through to the soundside.
Ocracoke Island District
The Ocracoke Island District has a total of 16.5 miles of ocean shoreline. There are 16.2miles open to pedestrians and approximately 7.8 milesare open to ORV access. ORV use is restricted by approximately 8.7 miles of SAFETY and SEASONAL closures and approximately 0.5 mile is restricted by a RESOURCE protection area.
Ramp 59 - Ramp 67 (7.8 miles):
ORV and pedestrian access is open north of Ramp 59 and 1.0 mile south of Ramp 59 where a SAFETY Closure begins. There is no through ORV access from Ramp 59 to Ramp 67.Pedestrian access is open.
A SAFETY closure is 5.4 miles long, and begins 1.0 miles south of Ramp 59 to 1.2 miles north of Ramp 67. This section is open to pedestrian access but not to ORV access. A RESOURCE closure for a leatherback turtle nest and is located within this SAFETY closure area. As of June 7, 2007, the nest closure was expanded to 350’ and is marked as a full beach closure. The nest was well past the "hatch date" window, was excavated by park staff and found to have some viable eggs which were reburied.
Ramp 67 - Ramp 70 (3.8 miles; includes Ramp 68) :
The beach is open to pedestrian access from Ramp 67 to Ramp 70. There no through access for ORVs between Ramps 67 and 70.
A RESOURCE protection area, approx. 0.5 mile long, was established for an American Oystercatcher nest between Ramp 68 and 70, which was subsequently lost. The one chick continues to survive as of July 25.
The SEASONAL closure was established on May 15, 2007 in front of the lifeguarded beach/campground extends from .05 mile south of Ramp 67 to 0.25 miles north of Ramp 70. This section of beach, approximately 3.3 miles in length, and closes Ramp 68 an d is closed to ORV access but remains open for pedestrian access.
Ramp 70 - Ramp 72 (1.8 miles) and Ramp 72 to South Ocracoke Spit (4.6 miles):
The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 70 south along ocean shoreline, for approximately 0.4 of a mile where a RESOURCE shoreline protection area begins.An access corridor is open to ORV and pedestrians on the upper beach and access is open to South Point.Due to high tides and erosion from numerous northeast winds, access to South Point of Ocracoke may not be accessible at high tide.
A RESOURCE protection area (pre-nesting area) was established March 29 that encompasses interior and soundside areas of the spit. Ocean shoreline access is open to South Point. On April 11, the resource protection area was extended approximately 500 feet from on the southwestern edge towards the sound and currently encompasses an American Oystercatcher nest. As of July 2, all four piping plover chicks were lost.On Monday, July 9, a full beach closure, then subsequent nightly closures, was implemented for an American Oystercatcher chick.The chick is still being seen in the soundside area. The closure/restrictions on the oceanside were removed on July 18 and 24-hour oceanside access is open.
Temporary resource protection areas are necessary to protect threatened and endangered species and species of concern including Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Colonial Waterbirds (Terns and Skimmers), and sea turtles. Posted areas are closed to vehicles, pedestrians and pets.