Wright Brothers Memorial closed, but that’s not stopping visitors

By on December 28, 2018

Cars parked outside the memorial grounds Friday. (Sam Walker)

The government shutdown isn’t stopping folks from visiting the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills.

Since the Dec. 22 impasse in funding the federal government, cars have parked at the closed gates and people have walked the grounds, though no National Park Service personnel are on site.

The Wright Brothers Memorial is closed “for protection and safety,” the Park Service said after the shutdown. But the site is also a fee area, and no staff is working to collect entrance fees.

Some sections of the area’s three national parks remain accessible, but that may change without notice and there will be no services provided by the NPS.

After our story posted on Friday, cones were placed in the driveway off U.S. 158 to discourage parking.

A safer option is available to the south of the memorial at Kill Devil Hills Town Hall or First Flight High School off Colington Road and Veterans Drive.


  • Kevin Conner

    Proof positive that many within the government workforce are truly nonessential and that the show can in fact go on without them.

    Now if we could only apply that same principle to our do nothing Congress and defund their salaries, taxpayers would truly be beneficiaries of real fiscal Conservatism.

    Friday, Dec 28 @ 5:57 pm
  • Sans

    today finds orange cones blocking the entrance into the park from the bypass.

    Saturday, Dec 29 @ 9:42 am
  • Kdh_obx


    Saturday, Dec 29 @ 10:19 am
  • surf123

    @Kevin Conner agree this is proof positive that many are truly non-essential as it should not be employed at all by the government. The travesty of it all is they still will get paid for not working. I don’t think there are many people who would not like a week or so paid vacation even if it was not planned for. I can also add there are many people working who are labeled essential, but are not even remotely essential to anything. The only people who get hurt by the shutdown is the contractors who are forced to take leave without pay or vacation because they cannot enter the buildings where they work or their funding expired and was awaiting replenishment.

    Saturday, Dec 29 @ 10:44 am
  • Former Banker

    Kevin Conner, Very short sighted view on your part. People visiting National Parks (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Constitution Hall, Cape Hatteras, etc.) have already paid for these facilities through taxes. Maintaining these facilities and providing sevices such as restrooms and exhibits takes staff. Also, these resources must be protected from vandalism and other bad behavoir by the “visitors”. Do you maintain your home and car or just neglect them? I agree that Congress is a complete failure but trashing federal workers who are being used as pawns by big egos in Washington is senseless.

    Sunday, Dec 30 @ 1:55 pm