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Are the horses of Spanish origin?

Genetic research shows evidence of Spanish ancestry in the Shackleford Banks herd.

Are the horses protected by law?

Yes. On Shackleford Banks, they are protected by federal law. On Rachel Carson Reserve, they are protected by North Carolina law and Town of Beaufort ordinance.

Are there bathroom facilities?

Toilet facilities are limited on the islands. Composting-style toilets are located on Shackleford Banks about a half mile on west end. Flush-style toilets are available during the day at the Harkers Island Visitor Center and at the Light Station Visitor Center, as well as on the boardwalk near the ocean beach.

Are there places to purchase food and drinks?

Limited food and beverages are sold at the ticket booths at Harkers Island and Beaufort. There are no concessions on the islands.

Are there shaded areas on Shackleford Banks?

There are limited shaded areas found under small trees.

Are they ponies or horses?

The Shackleford horses have often been referred to as ponies because of their size, but they are true horses.

Are they feral or wild?

They are wild horses.

Can I bring my pet?

Dogs are welcome on Shackleford when held by a six foot leash. This regulation is for the protection of the dog as well as the protection of the wildlife.

Today's Schedule

The ONLY Ferry authorized by National Park Service to drop off at Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks.

As of Wednesday, September 13th, we will be running on our regular schedule out of Beaufort, every 1/2 hour beginning at 8:30 am.

Harkers Island: 1st trip out on Wed will be at 10:15 am.

Beach Shuttles will not be running until further notice. 

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We are departing every half hour starting at 8:30 am through 5 pm. Ferries depart from Shackleford every half hour as well, beginning at 9 am with the last departure at 5:30 pm.

We are departing every half hour on the quarter hour beginning at 8:15 am through 5:15 pm. Ferries depart from the East end of Shackleford and/or Cape Lookout every half hour on the quarter hour beginning at 9:15 am with the last departure at 5:45 pm.

We are also running COMBO TRIPS from Harkers Island
every half hour on the quarter hour beginning at 8:15 am. To get your best experience on BOTH islands, we suggest that you schedule your combo trip before 11:15 am.