Cape Hatteras National Seashore announces plan to reopen parks and memorial sites on May 22


DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial are increasing recreational opportunities starting May 22.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore says they will continue to follow guidance from the White House, CDC, as well state and Dare and Hyde County public health authorities and use a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

The National Park Service says parklands will remain open to the public, including boat ramps and the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.

“We are pleased to be part of the community’s thoughtful efforts to welcome visitors back to the Outer Banks and incrementally provide services and experiences,” stated National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac.

On May 22, the following parks services will be available:

  • Restrooms at the Fort Raleigh Visitor Center, Wright Brother’s pavilion, Cape Hatteras beach, and sound-side parking areas and visitor centers (visitor centers will not be open).
  • Camping, with a limited capacity, will be available at Cape Hatteras campgrounds; however, campsite reservations and payments will only be available online. Staff will not be available to take payment at the campground and site availability will be limited – campers must use make campground reservations and payments.
  • Trash services in some locations – everyone is encouraged to “pack it in, pack it out” as trash service will remain limited.

Beginning May 23, Cape Hatteras National Seashore says the following services will be available:

  • Lifeguard services at Coquina Beach, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, Frisco Beach, and Ocracoke Beach.

The following facilities and activities that will remain closed:

  • Fort Raleigh, Wright Brothers, and Cape Hatteras Visitor Centers and bookstores.
  • The Lost Colony at Fort Raleigh
  • The Avon Pier
  • Bodie Island lighthouse climbing
  • Cape Hatteras lighthouse climbing
  • In-person off-road vehicle permit sales offices; permits are available 24/7 online. Permits should be printed and placed in a vehicle.
  • In-person interpretive programs
  • Ocracoke Island boat slips

Cape Hatteras National Seashore said the health and safety of their visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continue to be a top priority.

The National Park Service’s operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service to ensure operations comply with current public health guidances.

For more details and updates on operations please visit the website for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

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