Cape Hatteras National Seashore sees 42% increase in visitation during September

North Carolina
cape hatteras national seashore outer banks obx_368364

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WAVY) — Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) data show a 42% increase in recreational visitation in September when compared to the same time last year.

The 345,249 visits rank the 2020 season as the 2nd-highest level of September visitation since the establishment of the Seashore in 1953.

Top 5 highest September recreational visits by year:

  • 2002: 466,686
  • 2020: 345,249
  • 2000: 334,909
  • 1997: 300,377
  • 2015: 298,610

“These data demonstrate that public lands on the Outer Banks are among our nation’s greatest treasures,” said David Hallac, superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “We are proud of our ability to work as a team with our partners in Dare and Hyde Counties to provide exceptional experiences.”

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial experienced bumps in visitation, bringing September visitation closer to average September levels.

Park officials say that Seashore data is collected by logging southbound vehicles just north of the Marc Basnight Bridge and using a multiplier to estimate the total number of passengers heading south. Those estimates are added to the number of passengers going to Ocracoke Island from Cedar Island and Swan Quarter.

“Visitors should continue to practice the Three W’s – Wear a cloth face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained. Wait six feet apart in line. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,” park officials said in a statement released.

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