Fall and Winter Seashore Activities and Operating Hours

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Date: November 3, 2014
Contact: Wouter Ketel, 252-728-2250, ext. 3014

HARKERS ISLAND, NC Fall and winter can be a fantastic time to 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.

Half-Day Event

  • Horse Sense and Survival Tour –Saturday, November 15 & Saturday, November 22 –Reservations required, Fee for ferry transportation

The wild horses of Shackleford Banks are fascinating to observe but may be difficult to find. Join a Ranger for a half day walking trip to find horses and watch their behavior. The park will arrange transportation by local ferries; there will be a charge for this ride. If you have your own boat, call the park for reservations and meeting locations. There is no charge for the walking program. Call (252) 728-2250 for reservations, more information on the program, ferry costs and other information.

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. The Light Station Visitor Center and the Keepers' Quarters Museum are closed beginningNovember 2.

  • Lighting the Way (15 minutes) 10:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm

Lighthouse Keepers played a very important role in protecting the coast. Come learn what life was like for them and what they had to do to keep the light in the Cape Lookout Lighthouse burning. Meet on the porch of the Keepers' Quarters Museum, by the lighthouse.

  • 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.

Harkers Island

The National Park Service Visitor Center and the Ferry Gateway to Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks is located at 1800 Island Road, Harkers Island, North Carolina, and is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m. all year. Holiday hours: closed Thanksgiving Day, 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: closed Thanksgiving Day, closed December 24-26 and January 1 each year. Call 252-728-1500 or visit www.coresound.com for more information.

Other Offerings

  • Boy and Girl Scout Resource Stewardship Ranger Program –Scouts can learn about the park and volunteer to do a service project while developing a sense of pride and stewardship for the Nation's National Park resources. Scouts attend educational programs and performfive hours of service for an attractive Scout Ranger Certificate and ten hours of service for a Scout Ranger Certificate and Patch. Check the information on the web at:www.nps.gov/calo/forkids/scout-rangers.htm
  • 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, Beaufort Visitor Center, the Light Station Visitor Center, Great Island Cabin Office, Long Point Cabin Office and at Portsmouth Village.

  • Ask us about our "by request" programs - these include Scouting Programs, Nature Trail Hikes, and programs on lighthouse keepers, wild horses and sea turtles. Call (252) 728 -2250, extension 3001 for more information.



Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531

Phone:

(252) 728-2250

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