Cape Lookout National Seashore
June 20-21, 2010
Near: Harkers Island, NC
Distance: 6 miles
Conditions: Sunny and warm
Impression: This was a lot of fun...we drove to Harkers Island and caught a ferry to Cape Lookout, paying about $50 for a round trip for 2 people and our dog, so expect this fee when planning a trip (we did not shop around, so this may not be the lowest price possible)...the island itself has all the basic amenities that one would expect from a National Park: gift shop, bathrooms, pavilions, picnic areas and attractions...there's a boardwalk leading visitors from the gift shop to the lighthouse to the ocean side, it's really nicely developed...they are very strict about dogs being on leashes, having Rooney off one for about a half hour and almost finding out the hard way...thankfully, the park ranger didn't give us a $150 ticket, only threatening to do so if caught again...
as night fell, we decided to just cowboy camp on the beach, which was amazing for about an hour...something called "sand fleas" began to eat at us ruthlessly and really dampened our moods...remembering the large pavilion near the gift shop, we made our way by moonlight along the beach back to the lighthouse area...around midnight and away from the beach and fleas, we layed down our sleeping bags, finally were able to sleep...
all in all though, this is an awesome national park, well worth the visit...the beach is really clean and not too crowded...during the day there was some traffic, but as soon as the sun went down, the beaches were deserted and we were the only ones within a mile i would imagine...unfortunately, the lighthouse was closed for renovations when we were there, but that should be all finished by now (9/10)...
Directions to Trailhead:
To get to Cape Lookout, travel east on Hwy 70 from New Bern to Harkers Island, NC...it can also be accessed from Jacksonville, NC via SR 24 east, connecting with Hwy 70 near Hollywood, NC...H.I. is about 3 hours from Raleigh, NC...