HARKERS ISLAND – Cape Lookout National Seashore offers opportunities to experience the southern Outer Banks with a knowledgeable park ranger year-round.
A variety of programs are being offered this autumn season, which ends Nov. 26, and are free of charge, excluding any applicable ferry fees to the program destination.
Harkers Island Visitor Center
Ever wondered about the wild lifestyle of the Shackleford Banks horses? Join the park’s Equine Biologist, Dr. Sue Stuska, at 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, for Wild Horse Sense 101, a special one hour talk on Sunday morning in Harkers Island Visitor Center Theater. Then, become a horse detective by joining Ranger Kathleen for a walking excursion on the east end of Shackleford Banks in an effort to try and track and observe some of the wild herd.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 252-728-2250, extension 0. Next, contact the Island Express Ferry Service at 252-728-7433 to purchase a ticket for the 9:15 a.m. ferry. The ranger will return at 11:15 a.m., but feel free to return later.
Prepare for this indoor outdoor opportunity by bringing water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and binoculars. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and shoes that can get muddy and be prepared to walk the beach and portions of the salt marsh to try and witness the horses.
Beaufort Visitor Information Center
Events are also planned for the National Park Service’s information center at 701 Front St., Beaufort.
Join Ranger Kathleen at 2 p.m. every Sunday from Oct. 8 to Nov. 26 to discover the history and mysteries of the old Beaufort Post Office murals, and the fascinating life story of the artist that created these national treasures during The Art of the New Deal.
Ready to do some exploring? Join Ranger Kathleen for a morning walk on Shackleford Banks 8:45 a.m. on Oct. 13, Oct. 27 and Nov. 10 during Shackleford Exploration. The fall is the perfect time of year to see what birds are flying and where the horses might be hiding. Meet at the Beaufort Visitor Information Center by 8:45 a.m. In conjunction with the park’s authorized passenger ferry concessionaire, Island Express Ferry Services, the group will depart Beaufort for Shackleford Banks, via the 9 a.m. ferry. The hike will last for approximately two hours; however, visitors may remain on the Barrier Island until the last boat of the day.
Prepare for this ranger-led adventure by bringing water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and binoculars. Please consider weather-appropriate clothing and shoes that can get muddy and be prepared to walk the beach.
Reservations are required for the passenger ferry and can be made in-person on the day of the excursion, ahead of time on the website , or by calling the Island Express Ferry Services’ ticket office at 252-728-7433.