Tip of Cape Point now accessible to pedestrians

Cape Point visitors enjoying a walk on Aug. 1, 2019. [NPS photo]

Cape Hatteras National Seashore has made additional adjustments to beach access in the Cape Point area around a protective buffer for nesting shorebirds.

On the afternoon of Aug. 1, Cape Hatteras National Seashore provided additional pedestrian access along the east-facing shoreline to allow for walking to the tip of Cape Point. The pedestrian-only access begins at approximately 0.61 miles south of Ramp 44.

Off-road vehicle drivers can travel 0.61 miles south of Ramp 44, exit vehicles, and access the tip of Cape Point by walking a short distance.

A protection buffer remains in place within the interior of Cape Point to protect multiple least tern chicks, but the adjustments to beach access allow pedestrians to travel to additional beach areas, including the tip of Cape Point, without entering the least tern protection buffer.

The adjustment also opens more off-road vehicle beach access, with drivers now able to travel south of Ramp 44 and continue around the west-side of the least tern protection buffer to reach a portion of the south-facing beach, commonly referred to as “the hook” side of the point.

An interior area at Cape Point is still closed to all access for the protection of least tern chicks. There is no through access between the south-facing beach and the tip of Cape Point due to the protection buffer extending all the way to the water line.

Additional ORV and pedestrian access will be provided when possible. The seashore says visitors should pay close attention to the signs located south of Ramp 44.

The adjustments made Thursday are subject to change due to the mobility of least tern chicks. For updated beach access information, visit go.nps.gov/beachaccess.