Cape Hatteras National Seashore sees near record-level highs of June visitation

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 13:11:04-04

CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. - Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) experienced the 2nd-highest level of June recreational visitation since the establishment of the Seashore in 1953.

In June 2002, Cape Hatteras experienced 410,366 people visit the beach, a record that still stands today. Last month 399,364 people visited, officials said.

Visitation estimates are collected by counting southbound vehicles just north of the Marc Basnight Bridge and using a multiplier to estimate the total number of passengers heading south. Those estimates are added to the number of passengers going to Ocracoke Island from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

Top 5 Highest June Recreational Visits by Year according to the Seashore:

  • 2002: 410,366
  • 2020: 399,364
  • 1999: 393,401
  • 2018: 389,722
  • 1998: 388,012

Below are ways that visitors can keep the Seashore safe and enjoyable for everyone:

  • Check the rip current forecast before heading to the beach. Rip currents are known for pulling beach patrons away from the shore and can be very dangerous. Go to: Beach visitors can also sign up for ocean safety text messages by texting ‘Join OBXBeachConditions’ to 30890.
  • Practice the Three W’s – Wear a cloth face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained. Wait six feet apart while in line. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep dogs on a leash no longer than six feet for the safety of the dog(s) and the beach patrons.
  • Make sure the tire pressure of your permitted designated off-road vehicle (ORV) is at least at 20 psi (pressure per square inch)
  • Do not leave any beach equipment overnight. Equipment left overnight may be discarded.

“The ease at which it is possible to remain socially distanced on area beaches may have helped contribute to the increased visitation last month,” National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac said. “The Seashore offers 70 miles of undeveloped beaches for visitors to enjoy.”