Just in time for the Labor Day weekend, the National Park Service said Tuesday that shell collectors, surf fishers and families are welcome once again to drive their off-road vehicles to Cape Point, the most popular spot along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
A barrier island elbow that bends around the spiral-shaped Hatteras lighthouse, Cape Point was accessible only on foot while park rangers monitored the nests of protected shore birds and sea turtles.
The bird-nesting season ended earlier than usual this summer, but beach-drivers were kept away until the hatch this week of a sea turtle nest south of beach access Ramp 44. Drivers are asked to take care when passing a second active turtle nest one-half mile south of Ramp 44, where only part of the beach is restricted.
Visitors with beach-driving permits now can drive along the east-facing shore to Cape Point from Ramps 43 and 44. Vehicles still are barred from the south-facing shore on the west side of Cape Point.