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Contact: Wouter Ketel, 252-728-2250 ext. 3005
HARKERS ISLAND, NC – The islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore have many stories. Come explore the beauty and history of your local national park. All activities are free of charge unless noted otherwise below. For more information on these activities, call the National Park Service at 252-728-2250, extension 3001.
Cape Lookout Lighthouse Area
The Light Station Visitor Center and the Keepers’ Quarters Museum are located near the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. The Lighthouse area is reached by boat. Several ferries offer transport (see website). The Light Station Visitor Center and the Keepers’ Quarters Museum are open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. through November 23.
- Ribbon of Sand (film) (16 minutes) Travel through the Cape Lookout ecosystem from the sound side marshes and estuaries to the protective line of islands of the Outer Banks and the ocean depths beyond. For your convenience, this film is open-captioned. Shown in the Keepers’ Quarters Museum upon request.
The National Park Service Visitor Center is located at 131 Charles Street, Harkers Island, North Carolina 28531, and is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. all year. Holiday hours: open Thanksgiving Day; closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Nature trails and picnic areas are open 7 days a week during daylight hours.
- Ribbon of Sand (film) (26 minutes) Travel through the Cape Lookout ecosystem from the sound side marshes and estuaries to the protective line of islands of the Outer Banks and the ocean depths beyond. The film is shown upon request. For your convenience, this film is open-captioned, audio described, and assistive listening devices are available.
- Sound-Side Nature Trail – 4/5 mile self-guided nature trail This loop trail winds along the eastern shore of Harkers Island through maritime forest and saltmarsh and features a boardwalk and observation deck overlooking Core Sound. You can stand on the edge of land and sea and imagine the forces that shape Harkers Island and her people.
- Willow Pond Nature Trail – 1/3 mile self-guided nature trail The loop trail winds around a restored freshwater pond with gorgeous views of wetland habitats and maritime hardwoods. The trail guide is available at the Core Sound Museum; the trail starts behind the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center.
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center is located at 1785 Island Road, Harkers Island, North Carolina, 28531. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Holiday hours: open Thanksgiving Day, closed December 24-26 and January 1 each year. Call 252-728-1500 or visit www.coresound.com for more information.
Horse Sense and Survival Tour (4 hours) November 16. Reservations are required. Join a Ranger for a half-day walking trip to find the wild horses of Shackleford Banks and watch their behavior. There is a fee for the ferry service. Call (252) 728-2250, extension 3001 for reservations and more information.
Location: Shackleford Banks
Waterfowl Weekend (December 6-8) – hosted by the Core Sound Museum and held in conjunction with the Core Sound Decoy Festival, Waterfowl Weekend is an annual celebration of the heritage of Down East. Decoy carvers, boat builders, local artists, and nonprofit organizations join together to share the history and culture of the Core Sound Community.
Cell phone tours – Learn more about the park before, during or after your visit with Ranger-narrated tours for your cell phone or smart phone. The tours are free; however, normal cell phone minutes and data rates will apply. Call (252) 838-7052 and select a stop number on a specific tour to hear a brief story. Available tours:
Orientation to Cape Lookout National Seashore: stops 100 – 107
Harkers Island Nature Trails: stops 201 - 210
Cape Lookout Light Station: stops 501-511
Portsmouth Village: stops 940-950
Junior Rangers and Junior Ranger Adventures – A fun way to explore the park is to become a Junior Ranger. The Junior Ranger program is designed for ages 5 to 13 but everyone is welcome to participate. There are six different booklets and awards in the Junior Ranger and Junior Ranger Adventures programs: collect them all! You can also earn a Junior Ranger Patch by completing a booklet, watching the park movie and attending a ranger or volunteer guided program. Be sure to have them sign your patch program sheet!
Locations: Booklets are available at the Harkers Island Visitor Center, the Light Station Visitor Center, Great Island Cabin Fee Office, Long Point Cabin Fee Office and at Portsmouth Village when visitor centers or offices are open.