Camp on Ocracoke Island, NC
North Carolina › Hatteras Ferry Terminal
Added by Angie Stidham
This is a wonderful place for anyone who wants to camp on the beach, enjoy primitive camping within driving distance of a small island town, and have miles of beach to walk, run, fish, kayak, or just spend the day searching for seashells.
Camping on Ocracoke is allowed at the National Park Service Ocracoke Campground. Ocracoke Island is accessible via the North Carolina Ferry System. The ferry from Cape Hatteras is free and runs all day.
The campground has 136 campsites spread out over the grounds. They can accommodate RV's, campers, and primitive tent sites. Campsites are a short walk over the dunes to the beach. The campgrounds have several miles of excellent beach that are excluded from the recreational day beaches on the islands, but campers have access to the entire coast. The inland side of the island, across the road from the campgrounds, contains a nature preserve with a couple of miles of easy hiking trail.
The town is about two miles south of the campground and has several gift shops, a few restaurants, and a general supply store which carries some camping gear. Most visitors are day trippers, so the island is quiet and peaceful at night. There is plenty of wildlife to see since the beach area is isolated and only has light foot traffic: from the huge variety of birds, to all kinds of crustaceans, fish, sea turtles, and even a pod of dolphins on occasion.
The only down side to the area is that there is no tree coverage in the campground. If you want shade, you'll have to bring along a tarp, pop up canopy, or umbrellas. The ocean side of the island is also very windy, which helps with summer heat, but can cause some frustrations with tents and tarps (unsecured tents can be blown over the dunes and into the water in less than a minute if the wind is right), so bring extra long stakes to secure them in the sand. Sunscreen and bug sprays can also be vital. No-see-ums and biting flies can be abundant. But all the bugs in the world cannot beat having miles of empty beach to wander 24 hrs a day!
Get more information and make reservations for the campground here.
- Tent, sleeping pads/bags (no trees for hammocks)
- Suncreen/bug spray
- Tarps, canopies, umbrellas for sun/heat coverage
- Toiletries (showers on grounds, most supplies available in town)
- Water (no potable water supply on campground)
- First aid kit (town shuts down at night and ranger is not always on duty at night)
- Flip flops (dune sands get hot!)
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