Ocracoke Island has Reopened and is Welcoming Visitors
Ocracoke Island is open and welcoming visitors, as Hyde County has lifted the mandatory evacuation that was put into place in advance of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaias‘ landfall in the Carolinas.
Ocracoke was spared any noticeable damage; the island remains the same beautiful, friendly place that visitors know, love, and return to year after year.
The Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry route will return to its full published schedule on Thursday, August 6th, as will the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry service.
The Ocracoke Express Passenger ferry schedule is as follows:
• From Hatteras: 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
• From Ocracoke: 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
A one-way trip on the passenger ferry takes approximately 70 minutes and the fare is $5 one way for adults with an additional $1 for bicycles. Children 3 and under may ride for free. A free tram operated by Hyde County will be available to shuttle visitors to 8 stops around the village, with golf carts and bicycles available for rental from private vendors.
Shoaling in Bigfoot Slough outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Terminal continued with the passage of Hurricane Isaias this week, which forced the N.C. Ferry Division to immediately adopt a one-boat schedule on Pamlico Sound until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can complete dredging operations.
The Silver Lake Terminal schedule is as follows:
• Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m.
• Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 10:30 a.m.
• Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 1:30 p.m.
• Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 4:30 p.m.
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Ocracoke Campground is open. Camping reservations and payments can be made at www.recreation.gov. Off-road vehicle (ORV) ramps are starting to reopen. ORV permits may be purchased online at www.recreation.gov. Lifeguard services are available daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Ocracoke Lifeguard Beach Access. The Ocracoke Lighthouse grounds will be open, but the light keeper’s quarters are closed for repair.
The ferry terminals and boats can be crowded, so visitors should buy tickets in advance (when applicable) and attempt to board ferries early in the day. Visitors should contact individual inns, hotels, and rental companies to confirm that managers have had adequate time to return to the island and reopen businesses.