24 hour Cape Hatteras ORV access begins September 15

By on September 11, 2020

September 10 Seashore Updates

Former Double Keepers’ Quarters at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, site of the Museum of the Sea.  (NPS)

On Monday, September 7, the Museum of the Sea reopened to the public. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The museum includes exhibits on maritime history, the life-saving service, and the move of the lighthouse.
-Visitors should practice the Three W’s – Wear. Wait. Wash. Wear a cloth face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained. Wait 6 feet apart. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

Last month, the Seashore experienced the fourth-highest level of August visitation since 2002. The visitation for the month (386,399) was around 3% lower than last August’s visitation. Due to Hurricane Isaias, access to Dare and Hyde counties was restricted for four full days at the beginning of last month.


On Tuesday, September 15, off-road vehicles will be able to travel on ocean-side beaches 24 hours a day if no sea turtle nests are nearby. Ramps that remain closed for night driving due to nearby sea turtles nests will continue to close at 9:00 p.m. Night driving locations will be listed on the Seashore’s beach access table,, starting the afternoon of September 15. Off-road vehicle permits are only available online at (search for Cape Hatteras ORV).

Lifeguards are available through the end of September at Coquina Beach Access, Frisco Beach Access, and Ocracoke Beach Access. Beach users should be aware that an area of disturbed weather southeast of eastern North Carolina is expected to elevate the risk of rip currents along the Outer Banks. Check the rip current forecast before heading to the beach. Go to: Visitors can also sign up for ocean safety text messages by texting ‘Join OBXBeachConditions’ to 30890. Text ‘STOP’ to 30890 when you no longer want to receive updates.

All sea turtle and shorebird nesting numbers are listed at

Looking for the status of Cape Hatteras National Seashore facilities and services? Visit The Operational Status Report provides the most up-to-date information and conditions for Cape Hatteras.

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