Seashore to Allow Limited PWC Access

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: September 7, 2006
Contact: Wouter Ketel, 252-728-2250 ext. 3005

Harkers Island, North Carolina. Robert A. Vogel, Superintendent, Cape Lookout National Seashore, announces that the seashore Final Personal Water Craft (PWC) Rule was published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2006. Beginning on September 8th,  the rule allows visitors operating PWC to access the seashore at ten locations. When accessing the seashore at these locations, PWC are required to operate at a flat wake speed and only directly into shore.

Locations where PWC access is permitted are listed below. You can obtain this list, a map of the locations and a copy of the rule on the park website at Beginning on September 8, a copy of the rule will be available from the Federal Register website at In addition to these descriptions, seashore staff will install signs delineating the access locations in the near future.

"The Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Proposed Rule required many public involvement steps and we encountered several delays, but we are glad that the process is finally complete" stated Superintendent Vogel. "In the end we have actively engaged the public in developing a good plan that allows PWC access to the seashore while assuring that the park's resources are protected" he added.

PWC access locations permitted by the rule provide PWC operators access to about 50% (five of ten miles) of the sound-side sandy beach most frequented by park visitors with boats. The remaining 51 miles of the sound, and all 56 miles of the ocean side of the seashore remain closed to PWC; these remaining areas are either sensitive marsh and/or are generally not suitable for beaching vessels.

PWC Access Locations within Cape Lookout National Seashore.

(i.) North Core Banks



(A) Ocracoke Inlet Wallace Channel dock to the demarcation line in Ocracoke Inlet near Milepost 1.
(B) Milepost 11B Existing sound-side dock at mile post 11B approximately 4 miles north of Long Point.
(C) Long Point Ferry landing at the Long Point Cabin area
(D) Old Drum Inlet Sound-side beach near Milepost 19 (as designated by signs), approximately 1/2 mile north of Old Drum inlet (adjacent to the cross-over route) encompassing approximately 50 feet.


(ii) South Core Banks:



(A) New Drum Inlet Sound-side beach near Milepost 23 (as designated by signs), approximately 1/4 mile long, beginning approximately 1/2 mile south of New Drum Inlet
(B) Great Island Access Carly Dock at Great Island Camp, near Milepost 30 (noted as South Core Banks-Great Island on map.)


(iii) Cape Lookout:



(A) Lighthouse Area North A zone 300 feet north of the NPS dock at the lighthouse ferry dock near Milepost 41.
(B) Lighthouse Area South Sound-side beach 100 feet south of the "summer kitchen" to 200 feet north of the Cape Lookout Environmental Education Center Dock.
(C) Power Squadron Spit Sound-side beach at Power Squadron Spit across from rock jetty to end of the spit.


(iv) Shackleford Banks:



(A) West End Access Sound-side beach from Whale Creek west to Beaufort Inlet, except the area between Wade Shore's toilet facility and the passenger ferry dock.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


(252) 728-2250

Contact Us