Walking Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Part 1

On the Dunes
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina travels the length of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Danny Bernstein, the author, walked the beach and reports on her experience. This is part one.

"State of Birds" Report Points To Value of National Parks, Other Public Lands For Birds

The Interior Department's 2011 "State of the Birds" report focuses on the importance that national parks, and other public landscapes, provide for hundreds of bird species.

Reflecting On The "State Of The National Parks" In The Wake Of National Park Week

Handling endangered and threatened species and off-road vehicles, scalping campsite reservations, and the interpreting of parks by smartphone are among the things to wonder about in the wake of National Park Week.

Unforeseen Repairs Will Idle Bodie Island Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Indefinitely

Have you ever started a home remodeling project, only to discover partway through that there's more work than you anticipated needing to be done? That's the case at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where unforeseen repairs will keep the Bodie Island Light dark for an indefinite period.

Summer Special: Windshield Touring in the Eastern Parks

The National Park System is renowned for scenic drives. These traverses, loops, and shuttles in the eastern parks deserve a place on your windshield touring short list.

A Guide To Help You Enjoy Your Visit to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Lighthouse

With tours of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse at the national seashore of the same name set to begin for the season April 15, a new guide has arrived to help you better appreciate your visit.

April Fool's Story On Cape Hatteras Not Funny To All Readers

The issue of access on Cape Hatteras National Seashore is among the most contentious in the National Park System.

Congress Slashes $101 Million From National Park Service Budget. More To Come?

One-thirteenth of 1 percent of the federal budget gets you funding for the entire National Park System and the agency that oversees it. Yet that miniscule sliver hasn't stopped Congress from eyeing the National Park Service for cuts to help rein-in the federal deficit.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Campgrounds to Begin Opening April 1

If spring is your favorite time to visit Cape Hatteras National Seashore, then you'll be happy to know that the Oregon Inlet, Frisco, and Ocracoke campgrounds are scheduled to open for business on April 1. Really!

Give Us A National Park, But Please, Not Its Regulations

We love our national parks. We love the wildlife they hold, the seashores with their sparkling sands, the forests with their wildlife and hiking trails, the soaring red-rock cliffs and plunging canyons. But please, don't ask us to abide by their regulations.

The Annual Meeting of the Dumb and Dumber National Park Visiting Society

Organizations that start out small and simple can expect to end up large and complex, but what can be expected of an organization that starts out small and stupid?

Several "Firsts" in the Civil War Occurred at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

The barrier islands of North Carolina may not have seen the same level of action in the Civil War as places like Gettysburg, but the area was the site of several important "firsts" in the War. Do you know what they were?

North Carolina Politicians Ask Interior Secretary To Allow More ORV Access At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Three members of North Carolina's congressional delegation have asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to find a way to allow increased off-road vehicle access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
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Restoration of Bodie Island Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Hits a Snag

Anyone who's ever taken on a major home repair project knows this version of Murphy's Law: "It will take longer than you think, and will cost more than you planned." That's unfortunately the situation at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where restoration of the Bodie Island Lighthouse has hit a serious snag.

Business Survey On Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Management Plan's Impacts Points to Uncertainty

A strong majority of businesses along Cape Hatteras National Seashore believe rules that restrict access of off-road vehicles and pedestrians for the benefit of nesting shorebirds and sea turtles will harm their operations.
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Summering at Cape Lookout National Seashore: The Logistics

Cape Lookout National Seashore is a wilderness vestige of North Carolina's barrier islands. Not as developed as its northern sibling, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it offers a wilder beach vacation, one definitely worth pursuing.
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Looking Back On 2010 Across the National Park System

What were the top stories across the National Park System in 2010? There were more than a few, ranging from the tragic loss of three Katmai National Park and Preserve employees to a small-plane crash to the ongoing controversy over whether birds, turtles and off-road vehicles can co-exist at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Let's take a look back through the year at some of the stories.

2010 in Review: Traveler's Checklists

This year we posted 16 Traveler's Checklists to help you plan your park visits. Did you miss any? Here's a list with handy links.

Record of Decision on Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Plan OKed, But Implementation Months Away

While the final paperwork has been signed concerning an off-road management plan at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the arduous task of formalizing a rule means the seashore will continue to operate next summer under a consent decree.

Fish And Wildlife Service Says ORV Plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore Could Be Helpful to Plovers, Sea Turtles

While the potential exists for the National Park Service's preferred off-road vehicle plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore to be detrimental to piping plovers, sea turtles, and seabeach amaranth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials believe the plan will be at least minimally helpful to all three in the long-run.

Conservation Groups Question Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Preferred ORV Management Plan

A proposed plan governing off-road vehicle access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore while also offering wildlife protection has drawn initial opposition from the groups that forced the National Park Service to develop the strategy.

Winter Hours Begin Monday at Outer Banks Group In North Carolina

Things move a bit slower along the North Carolina coast in winter, which is why the National Park Service's Outer Banks Group is scaling back the hours of its visitor centers just a bit, beginning Monday

Moving From Fall Towards Winter In the National Parks

The transition from fall to winter is harsher than the ones from spring to summer or summer to fall. The signs practically assault your senses. And yet, the transition can be much too quick.

Commentary: How Do You Prefer National Parks, Utilitarian, or Utopian?

How do you prefer your national parks? Should they be utilitarian destinations, landscapes that serve all comers, whether they're in search of dazzling vistas or motorized recreation, or Utopian, ideals that should be appreciated for what is found within their borders?

Record Summer of Turtle Nesting at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Spawns....Debate

It's hard to believe an object similar in size, shape, and even color to a Ping-Pong ball could threaten a way of life. But for many who call the Outer Banks of North Carolina home, that's how they view sea turtle eggs, as threats to their enjoyment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and, for some, even their livelihoods.

Reader Participation Day: Which Issue Resonates More: Yellowstone Snowmobiles or Cape Hatteras ORVs?

Two of the most contentious issues in the National Park System is the debate over snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park and the one over off-road vehicle management at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Which is more important to you?

All Was Not Lost When Loggerhead Turtle Determined to Nest at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Was Run Over

Photographs of a female loggerhead turtle that was run over on Cape Hatteras National Seashore back in June told a pretty grim story. Amazingly, though, after seashore biologists placed 92 of her eggs in a nest cavity, six continued their incubation and hatched.

Update: Hurricane Earl Remains on Track to Impact the Outer Banks Parks

Packing winds of 125 mph, Hurricane Earl continues along a path toward the national parks of North Carolina's Outer Banks region. Parks further north and east along the coast are likely to feel Earl's impacts within a few days.

Excavations of Sea Turtle Nests Draw a Crowd at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Efforts to protect sea turtle nests at Cape Hatteras National Seashore have been controversial in some quarters, but the work is paying off. So far this year, a record 151 nests have been recorded, and once the eggs have hatched, the nest is excavated for further study. The public is welcome to watch the process, and it's been a crowd pleaser.

Cape Lookout National Seashore To Close in Advance of Hurricane Earl, Cape Hatteras National Seashore Shuttering, Too

With Hurricane Earl taking aim at the North Carolina coastline -- and points north -- officials at Cape Lookout National Seashore have ordered an evacuation of the seashore, while a bit farther north Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials are closing visitor centers and campgrounds.