Wildlife Protection Zones
Protection zones for nesting birds and sea turtles are seasonal or temporary area closures to motor vehicles with the exception of the following permanent closure areas:
In general, the shoreline is open to pedestrians. Exceptions will be posted.
Boaters can expect interior bird nesting area protection zones, 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 protection zones can be found on this short Fact Sheet webpage.
The annual nesting reports can be found on the Wildlife Management webpage.
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:
South Core Banks
North Core Banks
Hurricane Erosion Zones
The ocean beach erosion areas near Ophelia Inlet from Hurricane Florence have been re-opened for motor vehicles and are delineated. These areas are still low and prone to flooding. It is important to pay attention to the weather and tide when driving in these areas north and south of Ophelia Inlet. These driving routes may only be accessable at low tides.
Information is correct as of November 21, 2018
Last updated: November 27, 2018