Local Geography Information

Discussions and questions centered on local geography of the core banks barrier islands, waterways, inlets, and surrounding Atlantic Ocean and Core Sound.

Information we hope to learn is how area inlets are formed and maintained, and what forces of nature cause new inlets to form, deepen, or widen. How deep are the inlets that separate the north, middle, and south sections of this national park?

We hope to learn about the makeup of tidal flats, marshland, and sandy beaches that form this area, along with forces of nature like weather and storms which cause physical land change within this area.

Anything geography based can go in this section.

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Conservation Efforts, Natural Resources, And Habitats

Discussions and questions about local conservation, natural resources, and marine habitats on all three sections that make up this national park in North Carolina.

Information in this section can relate to vulnerable sea turtles, shorebirds, whales, local herds of wild horses near the barrier islands, and fishing interests.

Other information can include conservation around other wildlife and plant species along this federally protected national park.

In this section, we hope that park wildlife biologist and rangers will alert us to news information about public education classes and other events that relate to wildlife habitats and conservation.

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Local Recreational Activities

Discussions and questions centered on recreational activities along these barrier islands and waterways.

Information in this section can include data on diving local shipwrecks, boating and sailing, hiking, beach fishing from the banks, finding seashells, photography, birding, kayaking the tidal flats, and fishing the inner banks near the Core Sound.

What are some recreational activities we missed in this section?

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Local Landmarks, Bodies Of Water, And Major Attractions

Discussions and questions centered around local landmarks, nearby bodies of water, and major attractions for those visiting this area on the southern Outer Banks.

Information can include landmarks and public information on Core Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, inlets that separate the south banks, middle banks, and north banks near Portsmouth Island, the lighthouse, and general information about nearby barrier islands like Shackleford Banks.

What are your recommendations for public interest viewing when traveling to important places along this national park? How does a visitor access this area, what time of the year is best to visit, and what is the cost?

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Middle Core Banks Information Near Drum Inlet And New Drum Inlet

Discussions centered on the middle core banks that separates the south core banks at Drum Inlet and the north core banks at New Drum Inlet. Discussions in this section can center on recreational activities, accessibility, ferry boat information, geography, and other information near the Core Sound and Atlantic Ocean.

Do any ferry boats take passengers to this barrier island that makes up Cape Lookout? Are there any landmarks or public interests on this island? What is it’s significance to the three sections that makeup this national park? Are there any sea turtle nesting areas on this barrier island?

View Area

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Cape Lookout Lighthouse Visitors Information On The South Banks

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is a venerable icon along the core banks and the focal point for visitors worldwide. Information we’re requesting in this section can center around recreation, history of the lighthouse, and information on climbing.

What days of the week and hours of the day is the lighthouse open to visit and climb? What significant historical importance does this lighthouse have for the immediate coastline near Carteret County NC?

Is there a gift shop, museum, or guided tours of this lighthouse? What types of accessibility is there for different age groups of visitors?

What is the geography and terrain like on the south core banks where this structure is located and what types of recreation is most found in this area?

What other landmarks and interesting places to see are found on the south banks near the Cape Lookout lighthouse?

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Great Island Cabin Camp Accommodations, Cost, And Availability

Discussions and questions centered on the Great Island cabins located on the south core banks of Cape Lookout in North Carolina.

Under this discussion section, we want to know information about the rates or cost to rent one of these cabins by the night, weekend, or week, and the cost to do so during the summer months versus late fall and winter months.

How many cabins are there within this camp? How far is the caretakers office from where ferry boats drop passengers off?

Do all the cabins at Great Island have air conditioning (AC), electricity, and gas for cooking and heating? What about running water? How many square feet? What types of bedding?

Is there a bathhouse on premises, or does each cabin have private showers?

What types of supplies are recommended when considering linens, food, and other supplies?

Is the main beach at the Great Island Cabin Camp within walking distance and are all roads sandy beach requiring an ATV?

What are your recommendations when setting a reservation for a future date during the summer versus fall months? What is the cancellation policy set by the U.S. National Parks at Great Island?

How are cancellations handled when the cabins are closed during tropical storms and hurricanes?

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U.S. National Park Service, Rangers, And Caretakers Information

Discussions and questions about the U.S. National Park Service, rangers, caretakers of the rental cabins and campgrounds, along with information on parks policies and regulations, enforcement of regulations, guidelines when visiting, and hours of operation.

Where is the official central office for island rangers? Do caretakers near the Long Point and Great Island cabins live on the island 24 hours a day?

What are the policies for driving ATVs on the sandy beaches and dunes? What are contact numbers for enforcement officials?

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Local Weather Information Including Tropical Storms And Hurricanes

Discussions centered around local weather information in the spring, summer, fall, and winter months.

From late May till early September, the weather in this area is considerably hot and humid, and thunderstorms can literally form out of nowhere very quickly. These banks are in most cases right at sea level so flooding anywhere in the area is a major concern during heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

What are the weather conditions right now?

In the late fall months temperatures can range from the 50s to the 70s and generally speaking the months of January and February are the coldest.

From June till October, the areas along the Outer Banks and Southern Outer Banks are notoriously under threat of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Hurricanes Florence and Dorian caused considerable damage to Long Point Cabin Camp and the Great Island Cabin Camp for the entire season, and the lighthouse was closed to climbing and tours for several months.

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Portsmouth Island Along The North Banks – Visiting Information And Attractions

Discussions and questions related to Portsmouth Island which sits at the very tip of the north core banks near the Ocracoke Inlet.

As it relates to travel, attractions, and public interest, what are some specific reasons why someone will want to visit this island? What types of accommodations are there?

We know that Portsmouth Island is only accessible by private boat or passenger ferry, but in the case of a private company, what is the cost to take a ferry to this island? Does availability change depending on the time of year someone visits? Does the cost change?

Are all terrain vehicles (ATVs) allowed on this island? Are there any cabins like there are on other parts of the Cape Lookout National Seashore?

Other than sandy beaches, marshland, and tidal flats, what else is on this island? Is there any hunting allowed?

Is it possible to walk from Portsmouth Island NC to the southern tip of the north banks? Is this island a significant risk for flooding during weather events like tropical storms and hurricanes?

Is this island known for beach fishing or other types of fishing along Core Sound and Ocracoke Inlet? When visiting Portsmouth, is there cell phone service? What hours of the day do ferry boat companies run people to and from the island? What types of wildlife are found in this area? What types of shorebirds? Are there any protected sea turtle nesting areas?

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Long Point Cabin Camp Availability, Cost, And Accommodations

Discussions and questions centered on the Long Point cabins located on the north core banks of Cape Lookout in North Carolina. This area is often referred to as Portsmouth Island, but Portsmouth is actually it’s own entity within the north banks.

How many cabins are there? What is the cost to stay in these cabins during the busy tourism season in the spring, summer, and early fall months versus the rates during the off-season in the late fall months and winter?

How far from the beach are these cabins? Or, from where ferry boat companies drop passengers off?

What types of accommodations does the Long Point Cabin Campground have? Is there air conditioning (AC), electricity, running water, gas for cooking and heating? What types of beds are available? Are there private showers or is there a central bathhouse?

If someone is visiting the Long Point Cabins, what types of supplies do they need to bring as it relates to food, bedding linens, and other supplies?

Are these lodging facilities available for rent only one night a week, by the weekend, or can someone rent for an entire week?

Are all roads within the campground sandy beach terrain that is only accessible by ATVs? What is the process to cancel or set reservations for these cabins? How many square feet are they and how many people do they sleep?

What is the process for when someone has a reservation for a certain date, but inclement weather such as tropical storms or hurricane affect the area?

Are there any caretakers that live along these banks that renters have access to?

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