Frequently Asked Questions

Learn About Our Wild Horse Tour

  • Chevron down Are the horses of Spanish origin?
  • Genetic research shows evidence of Spanish ancestry in the Shackleford Banks herd.

  • Chevron down 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.

  • Chevron down Are there bathroom facilities?
  • Toilet facilities are limited on the islands. Composting-style toilets are located on Shackleford Banks about a half mile on the 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.

  • Chevron down 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.

  • Chevron down Are there shaded areas on Shackleford Banks?
  • There are limited shaded areas found under small trees.

  • Chevron down Are they ponies or horses?
  • The Shackleford horses have often been referred to as ponies because of their size, but they are true horses.

  • Chevron down Are they feral or wild?
  • They are wild horses.

  • Chevron down 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.