See the wild horses this summer at Cape Lookout National Seashore during the Horse Sense and Survival tours.
Offered yearly, the first tour of 2022 is set for June 11. Participants are to be at the Harkers Island Visitor Center at 7:45 a.m. and will return to the Harkers Island dock at 12:15 p.m. The next tour is July 23.
Space on the tours is limited and reservations are required. The program is free. Cost for the ferry is $20 for adults & $13 for ages 11 and under.
Resource Manager Dr. Sue Stuska will lead the tours. Her knowledge of the horses offers a glimpse into the relationships, behavior and survival of these wild animals. Participants will be able to watch the horses from a distance and learn how to determine an appropriate position and distance for watching that doesn’t affect the horses’ natural behaviors.
“This is an excellent opportunity for visitors to witness and begin to understand the wild horses,” said Superintendent Jeff West. “The Shackleford horses are truly a unique aspect of what makes Cape Lookout National Seashore a special place.”
Participants will ride the ferry from Harkers Island and arrive on the soundside shore of east Shackleford Banks. From there, participants will walk a moderate-level trek off the beaten path to find horses and settle down to watch them. Come prepared for a day in the sun, climbing dunes, walking through brush, slogging through ankle-deep mud and wading through deeper salt water.
Shoes that protect your feet and stay on in the mud are required. It is strongly recommended to bring water, lunch and snacks, bug repellent, sunscreen, sun hat, binoculars, and camera with a telephoto lens in a daypack or shoulder bag.
For reservations call the park at 252-728-2250, ext. 0. For more information, including meeting places, times, and ferry costs, check the park’s website.