- Vacation Rentals
- Property Management
- Real Estate Sales
- About Hatteras Island
- Midgett Realty
- Contact Us
Exploring the Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Hatteras Island
For thousands of years these barrier islands known as the Outer Banks have survived the onslaught of wind and sea. Today the long stretches of beach, sand dunes, marshes, and woodlands are set aside as Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The first national seashore in the country includes natural and historic attractions, such as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, lifesaving stations and the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. On your Hatteras Island vacation, take a moment to discover this seaside kingdom, the history and the many opportunities.
The National Park Service offers a number of programs at various times throughout the year. Most are held at the visitor's center (located at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse), however some are held in the field with programs lasting from a half hour to an hour and a half. The array of programs include such subjects as geology, ecology, storms on the Outer Banks, shipwrecks and pirates and understanding the marshes and how they work.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, located on the north end of Hatteras Island, was established in 1938 as a sanctuary for waterfowl. The area is a birdwatcher's paradise. More than 360 species of birds have been spotted in or around the refuge at different times of the year. The refuge has a visitor's center, where information is available on guided and self-guided tours, and there are hiking trails and observation platforms. 252-987-1118
Located on Highway 12 in the village of Rodanthe, the original lifesaving station was built in 1874 and was converted into a boathouse when the new station was built in 1911. The brave men of the U.S. Lifesaving Service, the forerunner of the Coast Guard, guarded the island's northern coast, battling raging seas to save sailors who were shipwrecked in storms. The Chicamacomico Station is one of Hatteras Island's most famous and is the only one open to the public. The grounds are open all year, and the building is open during the summer months. There are also beach apparatus drills during the summer months. For more information call 252-987-1552.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, located in the village of Buxton, is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, standing at 208 feet tall. The present lighthouse was built in 1870 and still serves the purpose of warning sailors of the treacherous Diamond Shoals. In 1999, the lighthouse made a historic move inland, farther out of the reach of the ever-encroaching Atlantic. The lighthouse keeper's quarters serves as a museum and gift shop. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse opens for climbing on the Friday before Easter Sunday and closes for the season on Columbus Day each year. For information call 252-995-4474 .
The Buxton Woods, which runs from Buxton to Frisco, is one of the largest remaining barrier island maritime forests in the southeastern United States. The National Park Service nature trail, a 3/4-mile loop near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, is the best place to view and understand the ecological importance of the maritime forest. The self-guided trail has small plaques that explain the formation of the forest, its plant and animal life, and its role in the ecology of the barrier island.