Cape Lookout National Seashore updates list of open, closed facilities

WNCT Lighthouse Tour_ Cape Lookout (Image 1)_12879


HARKERS ISLAND, NC (WNCT) – On Tuesday, Cape Lookout National Seashore released updates on facility openings and closures as park staff continue to repair damage from Hurricane Dorian.

Cape Lookout officials said the ferry from Morris Marina to the park is now open to transport 4-wheel drive vehicles for visitors who wish to visit North Core Banks.

As repairs continue across much of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, park officials released these status updates on specific areas and facilities within the park:

Only about 10 miles of beach are publicly accessible at this time, due to the new inlets that have formed across the natural barrier island, many of which are only passable at low tide.

Long Point Cabin area is closed to the public. Park staff support and services will not be available for the remainder of 2019.

Portsmouth Village is closed for the remainder of 2019.

There is no bathhouse; Restrooms, water, ice, fuel, dump station, the air refill station or any other regular amenities are also not available.


North Core, South Core, and Shackleford Banks are open for day-use and camping.

South Core Banks is open to all visitors for beach driving and vehicle camping. Check with ferry services (Davis, NC) for details on vehicle transportation.

South Core, and Shackleford Banks amenities, including restrooms, water fill stations, rinse-off showers, gas, ice, along with usual amenities are available.

The Great Island Cabin Camp is open from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

The Keepers Quarters Museum is open from 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

The Light Station Visitor Center is open from 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Emergency Response will be difficult, with long response times. Travel North Core beaches at your own risk!

Visitors seeking long-term parking for vehicles should contact the park for parking location, fees, and off-road vehicle certification at: 252-728-2250, extension 8897.

For details on the current schedule and fees for the ferry to North Core Banks, call Morris Marina at 252-225-4261, or visit their website.


Officials at Cape Lookout National Seashore gave another update on Thursday about which facilities and services are already open, or will open soon, after Hurricane Dorian damage is repaired.

The National Park Service said, as of Thursday, 68 NPS employees from across the nation are assigned to cleanup debris and repair damage at Cape Lookout National Seashore.

The public should not enter closed areas of the parks until stabilization and restoration efforts are complete.

Here is Thursday’s updated list of what CLNS facilities and services are now open, and when the currently-closed facilities and services will be available for visitors to use:

· The Beaufort Visitor Information Center is open.

o Hours of operation are daily from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

· The Harkers Island Visitor Center is open.

o Hours of operation are daily from 9:00 A.M. to 5 P.M.

· Passenger ferry service (via Island Express Ferry Service), from Beaufort and Harkers Island:

o To South Core Banks, will resume on Saturday, September 14.

o To Shackleford Banks, is available to the public.

o Hours of operation, from Beaufort: daily, every 30 minutes from 8:30 A.M. – 5:30 P.M.

o Hours of operation, from Harkers Island: daily, every hour from 8:15 A.M. – 5:45 P.M.

o For more information contact the Island Express Ferry Service office at:, or at (252) 728-7433.

· Visitors should prepare for their visit to Shackleford and South Core Beaches!

o Be careful, as there remains an abundance of storm debris on the beaches. Sturdy footwear is highly recommended.

o There are no amenities, including restrooms, available at this time, as power and water are currently unavailable.

o Prepare by bringing sturdy footwear, water, food and plan to pack out all personal trash.

· All other visitor facilities (i.e. Light Station Visitor Center, and the Keepers Quarters Museum) and services are closed; a reopening schedule is not available at this time.

· Cancelled reservations for the Great Island Cabins have been stretched through Wednesday, September 18.

o Cancellations may be further extended; an update will be provided when available.

All cabin reservations that have been canceled will be issued a full refund at, or call (877) 444-6777.

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