Wildlife Closures

Wilson's Plover Chick
Drivers should keep watch for chicks, like this Wilson's Plover, hiding in the sand and grasses.

Shoreline closures to motor vehicles for nesting birds and sea turtles are seasonal or temporary with the exception of these permanent closure areas:

  • Shackleford Banks
  • Ramp 41a to Ramp 41b (ocean side lighthouse beach)
  • Power Squadron Spit west of the Jetty
  • Portsmouth Village

Storm and/or weather related closures (temporary until conditions improve)
North Core Banks
  • Portsmouth Village road and Portsmouth Flats are now open to motor vehicles. A standard pickup should have no issues, smaller SUVs are traveling at their own risk.
  • Ocean beach from Ramp 18b to Old Drum Inlet is closed to motor vehicles until the end of island conditions improve.
Loggerhead Hatchling
Loggerhead hatchling safe inside a closure.

In general, the shoreline is open to pedestrians. Exceptions will be posted.

Boaters can expect interior bird closures, signed closed to all entry, at the inlets and points from April 1 to August 31. Boaters are encouraged to land within 0.25 miles of the inlets. This allows pedestrians to walk the inlet shoreline for access to the ocean shoreline.

Maps of North and South Core Banks which show exit ramps connecting the ocean beach and the back "road" are available on the Maps webpage.

More information on the need for the closures can be found on this short Fact Sheet webpage.

The annual nesting reports can be found on the Wildlife Management webpage.


CALO Beach Access Status

This map represents beach access status at Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina.

NEW! A Cape Lookout Beach Access Status Map is available for seeing which ramps and beach areas are open for vehicle usage. Please note: Signage in the field has the "final say". The closures on the beach represent the most current beach access status, and should be considered more accurate than this map.

To use the map:

  • Click on the + or - button in the top left to zoom in and out, or use mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
  • Click on any part of the line to see the name status of that area.
  • Click on top right to choose a different basemap (imagery, Street Map, etc.)
South Core Banks
  • No areas closed for wildlife.

North Core Banks

  • No areas closed for wildlife.
Recently re-opened wildlife closure areas:
South Core Banks
  • All temporary closures have now reopened.
North Core Banks
  • All temporary closures have now reopened.
Information is correct as of November 10, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


(252) 728-2250

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