Shackleford Banks, NC

Live the Journey

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Take a ferry to the remote undeveloped island

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Watch the wild horses roam the island

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Look for shells along the pristine beach



Shackleford Banks is a true paradise for nature lovers with its pristine beaches, wild horses, and abundant wildlife.

getting here

Island Express Ferry Service

Enjoy a ferry service provider authorized by Cape Lookout National Seashore and the National Parks Service. Fee required and each passenger is allowed 2 carry-on items, such as a backpack and a chair


Wild Horses

The story goes that the wild horses living on Shackleford Banks are descendants of a herd that survived a Spanish shipwreck 500 years ago. There are currently around 130 roaming the island


Horse Safety

Horses on Shackleford Banks feed off of island grass and marsh and get fresh water from various pools and ponds or by digging in the sand. Stay at least 50 feet away from the horses and do not feed them


Pristine Beaches

With close proximity to the Gulf Stream and Labrador Current, Shackleford Banks' uninhibited stretch of beaches make it a prime destination for shelling.


Primitive Camping

On Shackleford Banks tent camping is permitted and permits are generally not required unless you plan to camp with a large group of 25 or more. You must have proper food storage and be prepared for a remote adventure! 



As the first line of defense, barrier islands like Shackleford Banks stand tough in the face of storms and are ever-changing. The island itself and the horses that have inhabited it for over 400 years are a symbol of resilience and growth.

A Complete Guide To North Carolina's Shackleford Banks

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