Off-Roading on Cape Lookout National Seashore

Harkers Island, North Carolina 28531

Off-Roading on Cape Lookout National Seashore

Off-Roading on Cape Lookout National Seashore Professional Review and Guide

"Here is your chance to take that SUV off-road. But remember, you’re driving in a fragile ecosystem, not a racetrack. Stay within the boundaries of the four-wheel-drive trails and beach and don’t trample all over dunes and vegetation or closed areas. Trucks, campers, SUVs, and ATVs are allowed on North and South Core Banks but not on Shackleford Banks. Motorcycles and dirt bikes are not allowed anywhere in the seashore. Vehicles and ATVs are ferried over from the mainland to the Long Point area at Mile 16 on North Core Banks or the Great Island area at Mile 30 on South Core Banks.

The interior trails or “back roads” run about 8 miles on North Core Banks and most of the length of South Core Banks, and there are offshoots to get you to other parts of the island. Using these roads helps protect the ecosystems of the islands so that vehicles aren’t driving over dunes and vegetation. Legal trails are marked with JEEP signs, while illegal trails are marked with a jeep with a red slash through it. Beach ramps are well marked with RAMP signs. See the Off-Road Driving Map for an overview of the interior trails. If a section of beach is impassable due to high tide, back up and retrace your route to a ramp and take the interior trail. Do not drive over the dunes."

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Trail Information

Harkers Island
Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
Length and duration vary depending on which options you choose.
Contact information for the national seashore, visitor centers, and local resources are provided in the eTrail.
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Jul 2018