Cape Lookout National Seashore: Shackleford Banks
With its untouched maritime forests and roving bands of wild horses, it’s no wonder you want to go to Shackleford Banks. But how exactly do you even get out there? Getting to Shackleford Banks is not as easy as loading up the car and punching the address into a smart phone. It takes a little work. Remember, the island is unpopulated by people so there’s no traffic besides curious guests. The journey to the southernmost banks of the Outer Banks can certainly be an adventure of its own.
The isolation of Shackleford Banks allows the banker ponies that live there to roam unencumbered. It also means you’ll need a boat to get there. A number of ferries will carry you across the water. Ranging from small vehicle ferries to large passenger ferries, this fleet brings people across the Cape Lookout National Seashore.
Getting to Shackleford Banks
To get to Shackleford Banks from Beaufort or Harkers Island take the Island Express Ferry Service. You can find their information at the bottom of the article. Although the ferries typically run from April through November, contact the Island Express Ferry Service (or different authorized ferry operators depending of other routes of travel) directly to see if they are running in the winter. Sometimes you get lucky. Questions about schedules, pets, or otherwise should also go to the ferry service rather than the National Park Service.
Don’t forget to dress for the weather, too. Make sure to bring protection against rain or shine; the ferries docks are open to the elements and you will get wet or burnt accordingly. No matter the season or weather, Shackleford Banks is bound to become your new favorite place. You just have to get there first.
Island Express Ferry Service:
- (252) 728-7433