Cape Hatteras National Seashore has busiest May in 15 years

By on June 15, 2018

 Cape Hatteras National Seashore experienced a 13 percent increase in total recreational visits this past May compared to one year ago.

A total of 248,423 visitors made it the busiest May at the Seashore since 2003, according to a National Parks of Eastern North Carolina news release.

The country’s first national seashore hosted 740,751 recreational visits through the end of last month, also an approximate 13 percent jump from the same period last year.

Visitation estimates are collected by counting southbound vehicles just north of the Bonner Bridge and using a multiplier to estimate the total number of passengers heading south.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Year-to-date recreational visits (through May)

2018 – 740,751
2017 – 652,437
2016 – 623,641
2015 – 563,663
2014 – 547,647

Those estimates are added to the number of passengers going to Ocracoke Island from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

The seashore offers a variety of recreational activities, including beach recreation such as swimming, sunbathing, and shell collecting; off-road vehicle access; fishing from the surf, boats, and piers; waterfowl hunting; lighthouse climbing; interpretive programs with a park ranger; camping; hiking; kayaking; watersports like surfing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding; and wildlife viewing.

Swimmers are encouraged to take advantage of the park’s three beach locations staffed with lifeguards from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Lifeguards are on duty from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week, at Coquina Beach near Bodie Island Lighthouse in South Nags Head, at the old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site in Buxton, and the Ocracoke Day Use Beach.

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