The National Park Service (NPS) offers a variety of nature-focused educational programs for adults and children, which are free and only require a simple reservation. They also staff our Visitor Center, which is a great place to find maps and personal recommendations to help you make the most of your time on the island.

**The National Park Service has implemented a mask requirement for employees, visitors, partners, and contractors. At Cape Hatteras National Seashore, face masks are now required in all park buildings and facilities, including visitor centers and museums. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including beaches and trails. The Ocracoke Island Visitor Center is temporarily closed to minimize potential spread of COVID-19.**

As part of ensuring our beaches remain pristine, the NPS manages off-road vehicle permits for the drivable sections of our beach, beach fire permits, and reservations for our beachfront campground. Apply for an ORV permit here. Apply for a free beach fire permit here. Reserve a spot at the NPS beachfront campground here.

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Ocracoke Banker Ponies
On a 188-acre plot of land, behind a wooden fence, lives the herd of Ocracoke Banker Ponies, descendants of Spanish mustangs turned wild ponies that survived a shipwreck hundreds of years ago offshore.
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Ocracoke Lighthouse
The oldest lighthouse still in operation in North Carolina and the second oldest in the nation. Hand-built in 1823 and boasting 5-foot-thick brick walls at the base, this is a piece of history that is cherished by locals, Outer Bankers, North Carolinians, and lighthouse aficionados, alike.
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Springer’s Point Nature Preserve
A tranquil maritime forest with abundant wildlife, centuries-old live oaks, and traces of historic structures. It’s also the beach where Blackbeard and his crew met their fate at the hands of the British Navy.
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