Cape Hatteras National Seashore updates

Published 6:12 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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Cape Chronicle is published weekly by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. These updates are from the April 27 edition.

Most Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches remain open for the purpose of staying healthy while following federal, state and county guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Beach users can help keep these areas open by staying at least 6 feet from each other and by not creating a gathering of 10 or more people in a single location. Additionally, vehicles on the beach should be parked roughly 20 feet apart. Adequate social distancing is easily achievable as there are currently over 58 miles of ocean-facing beaches available to spread out on.

Night beach driving restrictions begin Friday, May 1 at 9 p.m. From May 1 through July 31, priority off-road vehicle (ORV) ramps close at 9 p.m. and reopen the following morning at 6 a.m. All other designated oceanside ORV ramps close at 9 p.m. and reopen at 7 a.m. Night driving restrictions help protect nesting sea turtles. Priority ORV ramps are ramps 2, 4, 5, 27, 43, 44, 48, 49, 70 and 72. While night driving restrictions are in place, visitors may still park vehicles in parking lots and walk on the beach at night. Soundside ramps and the Inside Road between ramps 44 and 49 do not have night driving restrictions.

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For current beach access information, go to ORV permits can be purchased online at

At this time, all indoor facilities at Cape Hatteras National Seashore are currently closed in order to minimize potential spread of COVID-19, consistent with federal, state and local advisories.

Outdoor spaces remain open for the purposes of activities described under North Carolina’s Executive Order No. 135 and Dare and Hyde county declarations of emergency. As services are limited, the Seashore urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.

The 2020 camping and lighthouse climbing season are postponed until further notice.