Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111 Ext. 148
Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches are being managed under the terms of the U.S. District Court approved consent decree. The shorebird breeding season has concluded for the 2010 season. Resource closures remain in place for sea turtle nests that have not hatched yet. When a turtle nest reaches its hatch window 50 to 55 days after being laid, the buffer around the nest is expanded which may preclude through access past the site. Once a nest has hatched and the nest cavity has been examined (excavated by NPS resource management staff to determine emergence rate) the closure will be removed. With a record number of sea turtle nests on seashore beaches this season, park visitors can expect to see frequent changes in access related to these turtle protection areas.
As of October 28, 2010, of the constantly changing, fluctuating estimated 68 miles of ocean shoreline within Cape Hatteras National Seashore, approximately 50.0 miles of ocean shoreline is open to ORV and pedestrian access; approximately 17.6 miles of ocean shoreline is open to pedestrian only access; 0 miles of ocean shoreline is considered "limited access" (areas that are open but may require hiking off-trail to access); and approximately 1.65 miles of ocean shoreline are temporarily closed to all public access due to shorebird and sea turtle resource protection areas. The latest Google Earth beach access map can be viewed at: https://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm. For more information, check the National Seashore's website at: https://www.nps.gov.
As of May 1, 2010, all Seashore beaches are closed to off-road vehicles between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in accordance with the court ordered consent decree. The 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. prohibition on beach driving will remain in effect until November 15, 2010. Between September 16 and November 15, the National Park Service will issue night driving permits to authorize non-essential driving between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in areas open to ORV use. A pdf version of the night beach driving permit is available at local tackle shops and visitor centers and on-line and may be downloaded from the national seashore's website at: https://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm.
The Beach Access Report is issued every Thursday throughout the breeding seasonand will briefly summarize the current status of access in each section of the Seashore listed below. Updated news will be reported weekly in bold,
Note: *All distances are approximate. The mileage is determined on a weekly basis using
Bodie Island (Ramp 1 to Oregon Inlet; 5.9 miles of shoreline)
Mileage Summary: 4.7 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 1.4 miles open to pedestrians only; 0.0 of a mile of limited access; 0.0 of a mile closed to public access due to resource closures.
Ramp 1 - Ramp 2 (Coquina Beach Area) (1.2 miles)
Status: The beach is open for pedestrian access, but not for ORV access.
Ramp 2 - Ramp 4 (2.4 miles)
Status: Ramp 2 is open for ORV and pedestrian access. From Ramp 4 north, the beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 2.5 miles.
Ramp 4 – Oregon Inlet (Bodie Island Spit: 2.1 miles)
Status: The 2010/2011 winter closure for Bodie Island Spit has been installed. The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access 2.0 miles south of Ramp 4 to Oregon Inlet. There is an ORV and pedestrian access corridor to the north side of the Bait Pond. There is 0.2 of a mile of inlet shoreline for pedestrians at the southwestern tip of the Spit. The area is located east of, and close to, the Bonner Bridge.
Hatteras Island (Village of Rodanthe south to Hatteras Inlet; 42.8 miles of shoreline)
Mileage Summary: 33.5 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 9.1 miles open to pedestrians only; 0 miles of limited access miles; 0.15 miles closed to public access due to resource closures.
Villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo - Ramp 23: (Pea Island NWR boundary to Ramp 23 – 5.3 miles)
Status: The beach in front of the Tri-village is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 23 - Ramp 27: (4.3 miles)
Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 1.2 miles south of Ramp 23 and approximately 3.0 miles north of Ramp 27 where a full beach closure for a sea turtle protection area is located and precludes through ORV access.
Ramp 27 - Ramp 30: (2.0 miles)
Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.2 of a mile south of Ramp 27 where a full beach closure for a sea turtle protection area is located and precludes through ORV access to Ramp 30.
Ramp 30 - Ramp 34: (4.3 miles)
Status: There is through ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 30 to Ramp 34.
Ramp 34 - Ramp 38: (3.9 miles)
Status: The beach in front of Avon Village is open for ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 38 - Ramp 43: (6.0 miles; includes the Haulover soundside & Buxton Village)
Status: The beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 2.2 miles south of Ramp 38 to the Buxton Village line. There is pedestrian access in front of Buxton Village. From Ramp 43 north, the beach is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.4 of a mile.
Ramp 43 - Ramp 44: (0.4 of a mile)
Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 0.2 of a mile south of Ramp 43 where a full beach closure for a sea turtle protection area is located and precludes through ORV access to Ramp 44. Ramp 44 is open.
Ramp 44 - Ramp 45: (Ramp 44 to tip of Cape Point: 1.0 miles; Cape Point tip to Ramp 45: 1.4 miles)
Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access along the oceanside from Ramp 44 south to Cape Point. The tip of Cape Point and the "hook" area, the inter-dunal road between Ramp 44 and Ramp 45 and Salt Pond Road are open.
Ramp 45 - Ramp 49: (South Beach: 3.4 miles)
Status: There is through ORV and pedestrian access from Ramp 45 to Ramp 49.
Ramp 49 - Ramp 55: (5.9 miles; includes Frisco and Hatteras Village)
Status: There is ORV and pedestrian access south of Ramp 49 for approximately 1.1 miles to the Frisco Village line. There is pedestrian, but not ORV, access from the northern Frisco village line northeast for 0.4 of a mile and south of the southern Frisco Village line to Ramp 55.
Ramp 55 - Hatteras Inlet: (Hatteras Inlet Spit: 2.6 miles)
Status: ORV and pedestrian access is open along the ocean shoreline from Ramp 55 south/west to Hatteras Inlet and the "Rip." The Pole Road is open to ORV and pedestrians from Ramp 55 south to the Spur Road. Cable Crossing area is open (with limited parking). The Spur Road is open.
Ocracoke Island (19.9 miles of shoreline)
Mileage Summary: 11.8 miles open to ORVs and pedestrians; 7.1 miles open to pedestrians only; 0.0 limited access miles; 1.5 miles closed to public access due to resource closures.
Hatteras Inlet (North Ocracoke Spit) to Ramp 59: (1.3 miles)
Status: Ramp 59 is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.7 of a mile to the inlet.
Ramp 59 - Ramp 67: (7.8 miles)
Status: Ramp 59 is open to ORV and pedestrian access for 0.9 of a mile south of Ramp 59 and 1.2 miles north of Ramp 67.
Ramp 67 - Ramp 70 (includes Ramp 68): (3.8 miles; includes Ramp 68)
Status: There is through ORV and pedestrian access. The beach in front of the Ocracoke Campground is open to ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 70 - Ramp 72: (1.8 miles)
Status: The beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access.
Ramp 72 to South Point: (2.6 miles)
Status: Ramp 72 is open and the beach is open for ORV and pedestrian access for approximately 2.5 miles south to the inlet. In addition, there is approximately 0.5 of a mile of pedestrian only access at the inlet on the soundside. The 2010/2011 winter closure for South Point has been installed. There is fall and winter soundside access for ORV and pedestrian via a South Point spur road just south of the dune line.
Temporary resource protection areas are necessary to protect threatened and endangered species and species of concern including piping plovers, American oystercatchers, colonial waterbirds (3 species of terns and black skimmers), and sea turtles. Posted areas are closed to vehicles, pedestrians, and pets.
Last updated: April 14, 2015