Local News

New beach driving rules go into effect at Cape Hatteras seashore

Posted February 15, 2012
Updated February 16, 2012

New rules and regulations for driving on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore went into effect Wednesday, drawing ire from people who say the area's best fishing and recreation spots will no longer be accessible to beach users.
Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— New rules and regulations for driving on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore went into effect Wednesday, drawing ire from people who say the area's best fishing and recreation spots will no longer be accessible to beach users.

A permit, which costs $50 for a week's pass and $120 for the entire year, is now required to drive on the beaches. New rules also restrict where off-road vehicles, or ORVs, can be used. 

"There is a great deal more ORV traffic than there was years ago," said beach user John Newbold. 

The increased traffic caused the National Park Service to come up with a plan to balance beach use and conservation.

"I think, in this plan, that's been done fairly well," park service spokesman Jon Anglin said.

But the off-roading restrictions have stirred up some controversy, especially with regard to an area near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse called Cape Point.

Groups like the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Association, which filed a federal lawsuit last week to try to stop the new rules for being implemented, say that Cape Point's new designation as a "pedestrian only" area cuts off access for many beach users.

"The amount of beachfront closed and controlled by this rule is absolutely excessive," said CHAPA spokesman Jim Keene.

He said it isn't feasible for fishermen or beachgoers to walk to Cape Point, which used to be accessible by off-road vehicles, with their gear. Beach driving New beach driving rules go into effect at Cape Hatteras seashore

Newbold, however, who has been driving the beach for nearly five decades, said he thinks the changes are inevitable.

"Since 1967, I've seen a lot of changes," he said. "My one grandson will be able to drive (on the beach), but I don't think his children will be able to drive. I think, ultimately, this beach will be closed to ORV traffic."

Permits, which are required for beach driving in several locations from Ocracoke Island up to Bodie Island, can only be obtained in person at one of the centers along the seashore. People applying will need to provide their driver's licenses and vehicle registrations and watch a seven-minute video outlining the new rules.

106 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • bluemax4195 Feb 20, 2012

    Ezekiel c23 v19to20
    Didn't hurt my feelings all - just wondering why? I think I understand though. I'll take it for granted your primary goal for being on these boards is to evoke - very little intellectually to say and/or add to a discussion - but plenty to run off at the mouth about.

    For someone who uses Biblical verses as his/her screen name - albeit a bit odd in using these verses as your invoking message, rather than verses which offer the path to salvation - you "do" enjoy evoking others for no obvious purpose?! Why not take the last part of verse 20 in its literal sense, which says: "Whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys, And whose issue is like the issue of horses." And just for once, stay quiet if you can’t say something constructive! Maybe you’ll understand it better this way... Hee Haw!

    Finally your non-caring attitude towards others, along with your comment regarding the motel owner really shows your truest colors. Maybe you should reconsider your screen name.

  • rar0831a Feb 20, 2012

    Waiting on the day for them to shut down the beach to the point where even walking on the side of the road is a CRIME. Believe me this the direction it is going. No one else can say it isn't and if you do you are lieing to yourself.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Feb 20, 2012

    "Not sure why CHAPA wants people to think otherwise."

    Because the truth doesn't support their position?

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Feb 20, 2012

    "Not sure why you felt the need to "impose" upon someone "else's" comment, especially when it wasn't even directed toward you to begin with "

    Awwwwwwwww, I tink I hurt someones feelings! LOL. You posted on a public board. Get over yourself.

    "Go express your "opinion" to that local motel owner! You probably WON'T like what he has to say!"

    Nor would I particularly care.

  • bluemax4195 Feb 17, 2012

    To: Ezekiel c23 v19to20
    Not sure why you felt the need to "impose" upon someone "else's" comment, especially when it wasn't even directed toward you to begin with - but that's ok! Since you did - here's my response!

    As for those who are "so irresponsible & thoughtless" - in the past 8 years that I've been down (during the month of October) with our church men’s fishing retreat - I've not seen ANYONE act in the manners with which you describe. It must be a summertime issue?!

    Bottom line - fishermen make up the majority of those who GO to the OBX during the off season - AND - help TREMENDOUSLY to support the livelihood of many locals during the off-season. Applying these ridiculous fees & restrictions will stop many from going now, including our church men’s group!

    Let me put that in perspective for ya! Our church filled a local motel almost to capacity with double occupancy! Go express your "opinion" to that local motel owner! You probably WON'T like what he has to say!

  • jgriffith3792 Feb 17, 2012

    Ykm, good points. I agree with what you are saying. I think we have more common ground then realized – although not sure about raising to $500. My concern is where does it end? That is all. I know the compromise is much better than where it was looking, but also know – or at least have heard – that this is the first step in the agenda to “naturalize” and I just do not feel it is right. It’s there for *everyone* to enjoy and that’s what bothers me about this mindset of “well, I don’t fish, therefore no one else needs to as well”.

    Yes, know that patience is required, just fed up with the “nut-jobs”.

    I typically go early/late in the season with a few day trips in the summer. Hoping to make it out to Portsmouth again this summer and camp – down on the southern end. Was going last year but family/work got in the way.

    Haven’t had any turtle, but do like gator!

  • jgriffith3792 Feb 17, 2012

    Yeah, but they are annoying you, rocket, that's good enough for me. - Ezekiel c23 v19to20

    And yet you tell others to grow up! That’s hilarious!

    Notice the discussion between Ykm and myself. That is how grownups with differing *valid* viewpoints disagree and find some common ground in their debate discussions. We present our argument, expound upon the basis and have constructive dialog. All without name calling and childish antics. Trust me, Ezekiel c23 v19to20, you will find that people are a lot more receptive to you message when you are thoughtful, mature and respectful.

    I should have followed the advice of Mark Twain re: arguing with fools. Lesson learned for me. Have a good one, Ezekiel c23 v19to20

  • Anchorman Feb 17, 2012

    The story is not correct: Cape Point is accessible by a year-round ORV route from ramps 43 and 44 along the east beach, subject to temporary resource closures by buffer implementation to protect nesting wildlife. The year-round ORV route extends around Cape Point a short distance down the “Hook.” Then a stretch of South Beach is pedestrian only but accessible by the “Dune Road” behind the frontal dunes. In truth, not much has changed from the past four years. Cape Point is still accessible to fishermen by ORV, with gear, for much of the year. Not sure why CHAPA wants people to think otherwise.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Feb 17, 2012

    "If the restrictions are not helping the wildlife then what's the point? I thought even you might understand that"

    Yeah, but they are annoying you, rocket, that's good enough for me.

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Feb 17, 2012

    “I don't see why people are arguing if this is right or wrong. It is what it is and it's out of our hands.”

    Because this is WRAL, ykm. We’ll argue about the color of the sky here. You new here?

More...