Outer banks NC questions

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CatPowerDude

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Looking at going to the outer banks next weekend. I’m having problems finding camp sites since the government is shut down. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or advice. We would be traveling from Charlotte to around nags head area. Is this trip even possible with the shut down still in effect? The few campsites I found on ioverland were all run by the government and when I went to the websites for them I was reminded they were not open. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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BigBlueOx_TRD

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Looking at going to the outer banks next weekend. I’m having problems finding camp sites since the government is shut down. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or advice. We would be traveling from Charlotte to around nags head area. Is this trip even possible with the shut down still in effect? The few campsites I found on ioverland were all run by the government and when I went to the websites for them I was reminded they were not open. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Have you considered Cape Lookout? It's more primitive, but such an amazing place.
 
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BigBlueOx_TRD

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That’s all I need is a primitive place to go. I’m pretty self sufficient, I just need a legal place to camp overnight.
Call Davis Ferry Service and see if they have an available time for you to depart and return. Super nice folks. I cannot remember the exact fee, but I do know it is on their website. It might seem $$ but remember once you're over camping is free anywhere on the island that's permitted.
I promise you will enjoy it more so than a Gov run camp ground. We camp last year. Literally no one for a mile in either direction.
I attached a photo of our campsite fire the weekend as well as the lighthouse that is on the island. There are also a few trails on the island that lead back to the old community that was established, if you're into history. Fishing was great if you're a fisherman and bait can be purchased at the ferry. 20180427_191551.jpeg20180429_122122.jpeg20180427_161756.jpeg20180427_162209.jpeg
 

CatPowerDude

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What a interesting trip it turned out to be. We ended up not making it to the outer banks, the ferry service was not open but will be open for the season on the 6th if February. We had planned on staying at Jones Lake State Park for the first night. Well we got there and it was closed due to damage, which was not listed on the websites. We ended up driving around some service roads in what we think was Bladen state park and just pulled off one and set up a camp in the dark. Not sure if we were technically allowed on that land but I did do my best to look for no trespassing signs or anything else that would not allow us to be there. On my map it showed that it was state land but i estimate we were very close to the boarder of it. We did not have a fire that night since we were unsure of our exact location and the forest floor was covered in pine needles. We did our best to leave no trace there and I think we accomplished that. The next day we were originally planning on going to the outer banks either nags head, cape look out, or any of the light houses. But as previously mentioned the private ferry to cape look out was closed. And I could not find any places online that said it was ok to camp at any of the other islands that had the ncdot ferries running. Turns out a lot of stuff is closed in the off season. So we decided to go to Croatan National Forest. We got there and found out it was closed, literally the entire forest was closed due to damage, said it would reopen this past January but I can assure you it was not open, all the gates were locked and the ranger said no outside visitors are allowed to camp in the park. Also none of the closures were mentioned online either. So we had to fall back and punt once more. We called Carolina beach national seashore state park, and they were partially open, but they lock the gate at 19:00 and you have to check in by 18:00 if you want a camp site. We were 2.5hrs away and it was only open for another 3hrs, so we got down there as quickly as possible which resulted in driving down some 10 mile dirt road a little above the posted limit which was great fun! But we made it there 30 min before they closed and got a spot to camp. It was kinda crowded we were more of a fan of the site we had stayed the night before but this was a little better because we were 100% sure we were allowed there. We are planning another trip in late March when everything going to the outer banks should be open. Lesson learned just call ahead to all the places that you plan on staying because the websites are not up to date. We still had a great time but it’s gonna take another trip for me to knock the outer banks off my bucket list. IMG_3583.JPG
 

BigBlueOx_TRD

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What a interesting trip it turned out to be. We ended up not making it to the outer banks, the ferry service was not open but will be open for the season on the 6th if February. We had planned on staying at Jones Lake State Park for the first night. Well we got there and it was closed due to damage, which was not listed on the websites. We ended up driving around some service roads in what we think was Bladen state park and just pulled off one and set up a camp in the dark. Not sure if we were technically allowed on that land but I did do my best to look for no trespassing signs or anything else that would not allow us to be there. On my map it showed that it was state land but i estimate we were very close to the boarder of it. We did not have a fire that night since we were unsure of our exact location and the forest floor was covered in pine needles. We did our best to leave no trace there and I think we accomplished that. The next day we were originally planning on going to the outer banks either nags head, cape look out, or any of the light houses. But as previously mentioned the private ferry to cape look out was closed. And I could not find any places online that said it was ok to camp at any of the other islands that had the ncdot ferries running. Turns out a lot of stuff is closed in the off season. So we decided to go to Croatan National Forest. We got there and found out it was closed, literally the entire forest was closed due to damage, said it would reopen this past January but I can assure you it was not open, all the gates were locked and the ranger said no outside visitors are allowed to camp in the park. Also none of the closures were mentioned online either. So we had to fall back and punt once more. We called Carolina beach national seashore state park, and they were partially open, but they lock the gate at 19:00 and you have to check in by 18:00 if you want a camp site. We were 2.5hrs away and it was only open for another 3hrs, so we got down there as quickly as possible which resulted in driving down some 10 mile dirt road a little above the posted limit which was great fun! But we made it there 30 min before they closed and got a spot to camp. It was kinda crowded we were more of a fan of the site we had stayed the night before but this was a little better because we were 100% sure we were allowed there. We are planning another trip in late March when everything going to the outer banks should be open. Lesson learned just call ahead to all the places that you plan on staying because the websites are not up to date. We still had a great time but it’s gonna take another trip for me to knock the outer banks off my bucket list. View attachment 84747
I hate that for y'all. It sounds as though you made the absolute best of all the different challenges you faced. I would also like to personally thank you for taking the LNT method and applying it to your camping. I'm a big believer in that system and also in leaving things better than I found them.
A group of friends, and myself, along with our families are planning a trip to Cape Lookout May 16-19th. If you do make it before then, do gladly appreciate an update on the ferry services and the island itself.
Thank you for the update on your weekend and continued Happy Trails until then.
 
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varano14

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Contributor II

What a interesting trip it turned out to be. We ended up not making it to the outer banks, the ferry service was not open but will be open for the season on the 6th if February. We had planned on staying at Jones Lake State Park for the first night. Well we got there and it was closed due to damage, which was not listed on the websites. We ended up driving around some service roads in what we think was Bladen state park and just pulled off one and set up a camp in the dark. Not sure if we were technically allowed on that land but I did do my best to look for no trespassing signs or anything else that would not allow us to be there. On my map it showed that it was state land but i estimate we were very close to the boarder of it. We did not have a fire that night since we were unsure of our exact location and the forest floor was covered in pine needles. We did our best to leave no trace there and I think we accomplished that. The next day we were originally planning on going to the outer banks either nags head, cape look out, or any of the light houses. But as previously mentioned the private ferry to cape look out was closed. And I could not find any places online that said it was ok to camp at any of the other islands that had the ncdot ferries running. Turns out a lot of stuff is closed in the off season. So we decided to go to Croatan National Forest. We got there and found out it was closed, literally the entire forest was closed due to damage, said it would reopen this past January but I can assure you it was not open, all the gates were locked and the ranger said no outside visitors are allowed to camp in the park. Also none of the closures were mentioned online either. So we had to fall back and punt once more. We called Carolina beach national seashore state park, and they were partially open, but they lock the gate at 19:00 and you have to check in by 18:00 if you want a camp site. We were 2.5hrs away and it was only open for another 3hrs, so we got down there as quickly as possible which resulted in driving down some 10 mile dirt road a little above the posted limit which was great fun! But we made it there 30 min before they closed and got a spot to camp. It was kinda crowded we were more of a fan of the site we had stayed the night before but this was a little better because we were 100% sure we were allowed there. We are planning another trip in late March when everything going to the outer banks should be open. Lesson learned just call ahead to all the places that you plan on staying because the websites are not up to date. We still had a great time but it’s gonna take another trip for me to knock the outer banks off my bucket list. View attachment 84747

Which ferry service is opening for the season on Feb 6th? and to which island? I group of friends and I have been trying to plan a trip to one of the primitive islands( Portsmouth, or Cape Lookout) for March 1st and we have been having a hard time finding a ferry that was open. If you pull through with a ferry being open it would be huge.
 

H60Flyer

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I'm glad I decided to look at this thread. I'm planning to do a trip to the Outer Banks in April. Thank you!
Hello all, there is 7 of us here in Elizabeth City, NC planning a trip somewhere during weekend of March (OBX most likely). I will have more info tomorrow or Monday.
 

BigBlueOx_TRD

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Which ferry service is opening for the season on Feb 6th? and to which island? I group of friends and I have been trying to plan a trip to one of the primitive islands( Portsmouth, or Cape Lookout) for March 1st and we have been having a hard time finding a ferry that was open. If you pull through with a ferry being open it would be huge.
I just looked at the Davis Isle Cape Lookout ferry service website and it says their phone line is still down but they are answering emails. Check with them via email and also Inquire about the Cape Lookout Ferry service that is right beside the Davis Ferry.
Hope you're able to make it.
 

H60Flyer

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
NC, USA
Member #

16505

What a interesting trip it turned out to be. We ended up not making it to the outer banks, the ferry service was not open but will be open for the season on the 6th if February. We had planned on staying at Jones Lake State Park for the first night. Well we got there and it was closed due to damage, which was not listed on the websites. We ended up driving around some service roads in what we think was Bladen state park and just pulled off one and set up a camp in the dark. Not sure if we were technically allowed on that land but I did do my best to look for no trespassing signs or anything else that would not allow us to be there. On my map it showed that it was state land but i estimate we were very close to the boarder of it. We did not have a fire that night since we were unsure of our exact location and the forest floor was covered in pine needles. We did our best to leave no trace there and I think we accomplished that. The next day we were originally planning on going to the outer banks either nags head, cape look out, or any of the light houses. But as previously mentioned the private ferry to cape look out was closed. And I could not find any places online that said it was ok to camp at any of the other islands that had the ncdot ferries running. Turns out a lot of stuff is closed in the off season. So we decided to go to Croatan National Forest. We got there and found out it was closed, literally the entire forest was closed due to damage, said it would reopen this past January but I can assure you it was not open, all the gates were locked and the ranger said no outside visitors are allowed to camp in the park. Also none of the closures were mentioned online either. So we had to fall back and punt once more. We called Carolina beach national seashore state park, and they were partially open, but they lock the gate at 19:00 and you have to check in by 18:00 if you want a camp site. We were 2.5hrs away and it was only open for another 3hrs, so we got down there as quickly as possible which resulted in driving down some 10 mile dirt road a little above the posted limit which was great fun! But we made it there 30 min before they closed and got a spot to camp. It was kinda crowded we were more of a fan of the site we had stayed the night before but this was a little better because we were 100% sure we were allowed there. We are planning another trip in late March when everything going to the outer banks should be open. Lesson learned just call ahead to all the places that you plan on staying because the websites are not up to date. We still had a great time but it’s gonna take another trip for me to knock the outer banks off my bucket list. View attachment 84747
Great info, thx!!
 

varano14

Rank 0

Contributor II

I just looked at the Davis Isle Cape Lookout ferry service website and it says their phone line is still down but they are answering emails. Check with them via email and also Inquire about the Cape Lookout Ferry service that is right beside the Davis Ferry.
Hope you're able to make it.
Do you happen to have a link to those cites I am having a hard time finding them both. Possibly because they are right next to each other.
 
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