Cape Hatteras National Seashore continues to see record visitation; night beach driving returns

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick beacon in the nation. [Sam Walker photo]

Cape Hatteras National Seashore saw 427,384 visits last month, making it the busiest August since 2002.

This year continues to be the busiest start to any year on record at America’s first national seashore, the National Park Service said in Tuesday’s Cape Chronicle update.

The Park Service determines the number of visits to the seashore using a formula derived from the number of vehicles that drive through the Whalebone Junction entrance to the park in Nags Head and travel on the ferries to Ocracoke from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

In other seashore news, night driving (24 hours a day) will be allowed at many designated off-road vehicle (ORV) ramps beginning this evening. To find out which ramps no longer have night driving restrictions, and which ramps still have opening and closing times due to sea turtle nests, visit To purchase a Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV permit, go to

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