Ocracoke NPS (Outer Banks), NC - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:34 AM   #1
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Ocracoke NPS (Outer Banks), NC

Just got back from 10 days on Ocracoke Island. Three days were beautiful and the rest were either overcast or downpours. I took 4 books with me and finished all of them.

I have stayed at all 4 NPS campgrounds (Oregon Inlet, Cape Hatteras/Cape Point, Frisco, and Ocracoke) on the Outer Banks this year. Ocracoke (imo) is the best, mainly because of beach access. I didn't count them, but there are about 10 paths leading to the ocean from the campground. I drove just outside the campground and parked there because it's the easiest beach access path - level without a lot of deep sand.

The campground was over half full which surprised me. About half were tent campers, but the storm my second night there drove most of them off. It was interesting to see the makeup of the campground change from tents and mostly small campers and trailers to just a few tents and bigger trailers and motor homes over the 10 days I was there.



Several people stopped by to ask about my tent. It was one of the few still standing after the storms. One couple ordered a tent while they were there and another said they were going to order one when they got home.

Each of the posts marks 1 site, so you can see how flooded the campground was. My site was OK, but all sites to my right were flooded.



If you have never been to the outer banks, this is what the beaches look like - big, clean, and very few people if you are willing to walk a couple hundred feet. People tend to cluster around beach access paths.



Sunset on last night. Almost got me to stay longer.

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Old 09-30-2014, 11:16 AM   #2
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we love the Outer Banks. your photos brought back alot of great memories. thanks!

(sure wouldn't have wanted to have been camping in a tent in those flooded sites)
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:41 AM   #3
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We stayed on the Outer Banks in May Huck, the week we had scheduled our ParkLiner to be at the factory. Of course, a week ahead of that planned trip, our work got postponed, but we vacationed anyways, as we had locked the condo in. It is an absolutely beautiful area. We hit all the national parks while we were there. The best thing I got while there were t-shirts, one that just says "Duck."

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:19 PM   #4
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How do you get to the outer Banks? Ferry.. If so how much?

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:24 PM   #5
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We drove to the Outer Banks, it's all bridges. The only ferry is at the south end and takes you over to an island for free.

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:27 PM   #6
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Thanks so it's a free ferry to Ocracoke including trailer?

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:30 PM   #7
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Yes, the ferry is free. Read all about it here: Hatteras Ocracoke Ferry
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:37 PM   #8
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Thanks. We are in Southern VA right now.. We may just head over!

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:43 PM   #9
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I know the one from the Outer Banks is free, as we did it both ways. Not so sure about the Swan Quarter (mainland) one. I know the mainland one is a much longer ride.

Our last trip of the year may be Columbus Day weekend (if the weather is decent) over to Howe's Cavern west of Albany NY. Lived here a long time, never been.

Enjoy!

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:49 PM   #10
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Frank,
You will love Howe's caverns. I took the family there this year they loved it.
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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How do you get to the outer Banks? Ferry.. If so how much?

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If you are coming from the south, you take a ferry from Cedar Island ($30 for 20'-40' vehicle combo, about 2 hr 15 min). There is also a ferry from Swan Quarter to Ocracoke, but that doesn't help most people. The ferry from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke is a free ferry that takes about an hour and is used when coming down from the northern Outer Banks to Ocracoke.

To get to Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Duck, Manteo, Cape Hatteras from the North or West, you just take the free bridge.

NCDOT: Ferry Routes
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:51 PM   #12
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We have a 3 day weekend for Columbus Day and Howe's Caverns are only an hour away. I hope the planets align!

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Old 09-30-2014, 02:21 PM   #13
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We were on the Outer Banks in April for a week. It was so windy every day we couldn't go on the beach for more than 15 minutes or so. Several years ago at the Federal campground at Oregon Inlet a storm blew in suddenly, took the tops off of 3 pop-up campers, tipped one onto it's side, blew away some tents. Then the storm was gone and it was a nice day.
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
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I sure hope weather like that doesn't follow you two around!

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Old 09-30-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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Just got home last night from a vintage camper rally. Perfect weather over the weekend, as you probably had too Frank. Keep in mind that it's cool in Howe Caverns, probably around 50.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:42 PM   #16
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Glad you enjoyed your stay and sorry you didn't have better weather. The flooding you experienced is the reason we prefer the Frisco campground. Its location among the dunes and the heavy vegetation between most sites makes storms much less of a problem than the open field layout of the other three.

I'd agree the pedestrian beach access is better at Ocracoke but we have a 4WD vehicle and visit Cape Hatteras often enough to justify the $120 cost of a vehicle permit so we seldom walk over.

Great pictures - thanks for posting them. We'll be at Frisco some time next week for a few days and plan to be at Ocracoke the weekend before Columbus Day when it closes for the season. I sure wish the Park Service would leave either Fisco or Ocracoke open year round.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:53 PM   #17
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We're looking at heading down that way in the spring, good info Al, thanks.

Frank, if you make it to Howe, get the cave cheese in the gift shop, totally worth the price if you like really sharp cheese! Last time we were there, the lower end of the cave was flooded and the boats were closed, actually saw the water level come up in the cave while we were there. Of course the kids were more interested in the zip line outside!
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:18 PM   #18
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We'll be at Frisco some time next week for a few days and plan to be at Ocracoke the weekend before Columbus Day when it closes for the season. I sure wish the Park Service would leave either Fisco or Ocracoke open year round.
I'd like to do one more trip this year, but it's about an 8 or 9 hour drive each way and I've already been 3 times this year. I've got jury duty in Nov/Dec, so if I'm going, it has to be in the next couple of weeks.

ETA: Just checked weather forecast for next week and it looks like lots of rain. I've met my quota of rain for the year.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:44 PM   #19
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Huck , its a bit less than a three hour drive from our home to the Frisco campground so, if the weather does go south, its not as bad for us. Looks like a chance for rain Saturday AM and then different predictions from AccuWeather (no rain) vs Weatherunderground (good until Wednesday). We'll probably head out tomorrow afternoon or Saturday morning and see what happens. I actually enjoy watching an evening thunderstorm roll in from the Atlantic as long as the wind doesn't get too bad.

If you change your mind, we'll be in a Scamp fiver with a Tacoma. Would love to see a Parkliner up close.

Kevin, our favorites at Frisco are the odd number sites between P55 and P61, P68 and even numbered between A10 and A14. These have an ocean view (1/4 mile) and the P sites have decent privacy. I'd be glad to try and answer any questions you might have as your plans develop.


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Old 10-02-2014, 07:25 PM   #20
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Thanks, Al, I'll try to remember.
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