Access Options for Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island is currently accessible via 4-wheel drive on NC-12, ferry via the Emergency Rodanthe-Stumpy Point ferry route and ferry via the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route.

4-Wheel Drive Access via NC-12
The 4-wheel drive access on Pea Island along N.C. 12 is open however access is expected to be closed intermittently due to ocean overwash. Plan your travel for times of low tide when the road is most likely to be passable.

“Whenever we have high tides and strong winds, the possibility of dangerous traveling conditions due to overwash increases greatly,” said NCDOT Division Engineer Jerry Jennings. “NCDOT crews and contractors are working hard to restore N.C. 12, but we are at the mercy of the weather.”

Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles should expect a rough ride, which will include traveling over sand, damaged pavement and some water. On the sandy portions of the route, they will follow lane markers comprised of barrels, cones and/or flags.

NCDOT asks motorists to follow these important safety measures on the four-wheel drive access:

  • Only drive four-wheel drive vehicles with a high ground clearance. Cross-over four-wheel drive vehicles that are lower to the ground may get stuck in the rugged terrain;
  • If you drive at night, use extreme caution. There will be no lights staged along the route, so your vehicle’s headlights will offer the only way for you to see;
  • Drive slowly;
  • Pay close attention to the temporary traffic signals; and
  • All four-wheel drive vehicles are encouraged to lower tire pressure to minimize the chances of becoming stuck.
  • The four-wheel drive access is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Because of the hazardous driving conditions, Dare County first responders are escorting drivers before dawn and after dusk when the road is accessible to traffic.

    Ferry Access via Emergency Rodanthe-Stumpy Point Route:

    As long as N.C. 12 from the Bonner Bridge south to Rodanthe remains closed to traffic, the NCDOT Ferry Division will continue to operate its Emergency Ferry route from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe.

    The current schedule for this route is:

    Departing Stumpy Point at: 6 a.m., 8, 10, noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8 and 10; and
    Departing Rodanthe at 7 a.m., 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.

    The address for Stumpy Point is: 100 Log Storage Road, Stumpy Point, NC 27978.
    The address for Rodanthe is: 23170 Myrna Perry Road, Rodanthe, NC 27968.

    Essential commodities and materials get priority, as determined by Dare County Emergency Management. These priorities will receive an orange pass at the terminals. Residents will also be given priorities on weekdays. They will get a white pass when they show a proper Hatteras Island driver license.

    To help you gauge the amount of traffic waiting to ride, visit the live webcams Dare County has stationed at Rodanthe and Stumpy Point. The cameras cannot show priority order, but they can offer a real-time look at number of vehicles in line.

    Ferry Access via Hatteras-Ocracoke Route:

    Ferry reservations are required to take the ferry onto Ocracoke from Swan Quarter or Cedar Island. The ferry from Ocracoke to Hatteras does not require reservations and is free.
    Ferry reservations can be made online at www.ncferry.org or by calling 800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and pressing 2. Ferry information is available via Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry.

    The Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry is running every other hour. The current schedule is:

    Departing Hatteras at 6 a.m., 8, 10, noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8, 10 and midnight; and
    Departing Ocracoke at 5 a.m., 7, 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.

    The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division will offer extra departures from each side on its Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route beginning Friday, Nov. 16, through Monday, Nov. 26, to accommodate holiday traffic demand.

    The additional departures include:
    • Departing Swan Quarter at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and
    • Departing Ocracoke at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    As a reminder, the regular fall schedule on the Pamlico Sound is:
    • Departing Cedar Island and Ocracoke at 7:30 a.m., 10, 1 p.m. and 4;
    • Departing Swan Quarter at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and
    • Departing Ocracoke to Swan Quarter at 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

    These same extra departures will continue to be offered on weekends until NC 12 reopens north of Rodanthe and the emergency ferry route is deactivated.

    For updates on travel to Hatteras Island:

    NCDOT NC12 Facebook page (updated very regularly)
    NCDOT NC12 Twitter feed (updated very regularly)
    NCDOT NC12 Recovery Web Page
    (updated when there is news to report)
    Ferry updates: 1-800-BY-FERRY
    NC Ferry update website
    Dare County road conditions web page (updated very regularly)
    Stumpy Point ferry dock webcam
    Rodanthe ferry dock webcam

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