National Park Service Guidelines and Rules

Before you start exploring the 70 miles of gorgeous National Seashore that comprises Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following Park Service rules and guidelines to make your beach days breezy and worry free.

Pets on the Beach

Pets are allowed on most Hatteras Island beaches as long as they are kept on a 6 foot leash. The park service will issue a ticket for an unleashed pet. Always clean up after your pet.

Surf Fishing

North Carolina State law regulates fishing within the National Seashore. Limits, seasons and licensing requirements are set by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, which can be contacted at (800) 682-2632 www.ncfisheries.net. Size and limit sheets can also be found at most local tackle shops.


Fireworks are prohibited on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. According to local ordinance, it is against the law to possess or set off any fireworks on Hatteras Island.


Camping is allowed in designated campgrounds only. There is no camping allowed on the National Seashore, including the beaches, soundside and maritime forests.


Bonfires on the beach can be fun way to enjoy an evening with the family. The Park Service allows beach bonfires as long as the following rules are observed:
• The fire must be below the high tide line.
• The fire must be attended by an adult.
• The fire must be completely extinguished before you leave the site.
• Please do not put anything into the fire that will not burn completely (i.e., cans, bottles, etc.) This is considered littering and is subject to severe fine.

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