Sound-side Sand Parking Requires Permit

How many visiting windsurfers or more importantly, kiteboarders park off the paved road along the sound side? Kite Point between Avon and Buxton is one of if not the most popular kiteboarding launch on the Outer Banks. The spit of sand extends out into the Pamlico Sound and kiteboarders drive their SUVs out onto the spit to run their lines and pump up the kites as there is no paved parking at the launch. With the new ORV access restrictions, any vehicle parked out there will require a permit ($120 annual/$50 weekly). This also hold true for the sand parking area on the south side of Canadian Hole. Additionally, all soundside sand roads such as the "Power Station" or "Planet of the Apes" will require a permit to park on the sand and/or sand road. For those coming down here this year to enjoy a kiteboarding or windsurfing vacation, be prepared to buy a permit if you want to park your vehicle off the pavement, even on the sound side!


At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Brian S said...

How is that going to work? Are there specific areas that will be marked, or is it anything 'offroad'? What about the sand parking lots? How do you get the passes?
I'm coming down first week in April.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Bill said...

From what I have heard, the permit is required for any offroad driving. Likely, you can park along Rt 12 on the road side, but a permit will be necessary to drive out to the sound water front as often people do at Kite Point, or along the south side of the parking lot at Canadian Hole. Also, all sound side sand roads such as the sound side access at the "Power Station" just north of Avon or others will require a permit.

Yea, its going to be a little crazy this year with many not knowing about the permit for starters along with others not knowing what exactly the permit entails.

All in all, the rangers are going to be busy this summer simply enforcing permit compliance.

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Note, permits can be obtained at a number of "trailers" located at various beach access ramps and at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. A valid drivers license and vehicle registration along with the cash is required to obtain a permit.

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure????
The way I read it you only need a permit for the "ORV" routes. The soundside access do not appear on the map as a route...Please let me know where you found this info.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Yes, I am sure. I personally confirmed the permit requirement for the sound side with the NPS directly. Basically all off pavement travel in a vehicle will require a permit be it sand or dirt.

I even specifically asked about Kite Point, and indeed, a permit will be required there as well as any other sound side vehicle access.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Note, additionally if you would like to inquire directly:

For more information, call 252-473-2111
or visit the park website at: http://www.nps.gov/caha

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! thanks for the info.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the "day Use" area in waves/Salvo ?

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Salvo Day Use is a paved lot (ex campground) with plenty of parking, so you should be ok there. No permit required.

At 6:57 AM, Blogger rdm said...

Lets forget the ocean waves for a minute and think soundside. If kite point is closed and the only paved parking is the Hole how will windsurfers and kiters have separate spots to rig and ride without the frickin permit? Is the implied rule that kiters go to kite point and windsurfers go to the hole going to result in ALL kiters having to buy a permit or not kite in the sound? I think not. This seems like a royal cluster to me. Poorly thought out just doesn't cover it.

If the obx becomes more aggravating than fun I will flat go to other beaches with less hassle and crowding.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Yep RDM, this year is going to be very interesting in how the NPS handles this new permitting process. The majority of people will have no idea it exists and there will be many, many cases of visitors no knowing and driving out without a permit, ocean-side and sound-side.

Unfortunately, as I recently saw on Facebook where some idiot driver from PA was racing around the beach doing doughnuts and figure 8s in the sand along with driving fast/recklessly, this kind of behavior, in my opinion, is the real reason for the closures/permits/regulation. As more and more people have the means to drive on the sand, the likelihood of recklessness increases.

As I remember when all this started back in 2007, it began with a fatality where a group of college-aged people rolled a jeep on the beach where alcohol was involved and people were killed.

That was the point where Judge Boyles decided to "close" the beaches and with the help of the enviro lobby, succeeded. The Piping Plover was an "IN" but the underlying core of this entire issue, is likelihood of recklessness and inability of the NPS to safely police the park.

Makes perfect sense, as compared to "nesting birds," yet for some strange reason, the people who fight for ORV access seem to fail to realize this fact, or tend to ignore it.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger rdm said...

Bill- are you suggesting that people against beach closure and limited orv access have not witnessed drunk idiots on the sand? I've been almost run over while walking to my kit on the beach. This was at permitted and heavily policed Ft Fisher. I'm sure there are all sorts of obscure cases that folks can bring up.

by your own argument are implying that we should do away with roads and highways since some people drive careless and reckless on them? humans will behave like humans because it is human nature. who cares about the forest save this tree! ;)

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Nah, the argument is not that we do away with basic transportation infrastructure simply because people drive like idiots. Its more an argument that regarding "recreational ORV driving" in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, at its core, is not based upon the "environmental boogieman," but rather unmanageable/unpoliciable ORV use within the park.

My argument is that BLAME on the Piping Plover is EASY. The ORV proponents focus on this easy front because its simple to rally behind and the blame is easy to understand. Sure, the enviro lobby gained traction to have a say in the issue, but what was the underlying cause for that traction?? The birds and turtles have ALWAYS been here. Always! Thus, what was the change factor??

One answer, people. Compounded by the explosion of American SUV ownership over the past 20 years, and said increased ORV use in the park... there is your answer. The NPS simply can not handle the policing and management task necessary for park ORV use.

Unfortunately, blaming the increase of people and associated SUV traffic to the OBX is NOT something people want to focus on since basically, increases in people equals increased business opportunity for the local community ranging from the housing rental market to the "mom and pop" tackle shop. Increased people makes the argument complicated since when you look at it from that perspective, Hatteras' local economy depends upon people visiting the island.

Given this perspective, ultimately, its a losing battle.

The war cry against the birds and enviros will continue because it is easy and blame is simple to understand from that point of view. However, when you step back and look at the issue from a more critical perspective, its plain to see that its people, not birds that is shutting down the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to ORV traffic.

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's told the judge was heard to say "what do they need to drive on the beaches for?"

At 11:38 AM, Blogger rdm said...

Bill- I used colorful illustration that was confusing in this context. Sorry about that. The trees vs forest had nothing to do with the environment. It stems from “cant see the forest for the trees” and this is all about perspective.

It sounds like overall we agree and we are both trying to show the broader scope of the problem while remaining as objective as possible. I’m just suggesting that you are not quite including all in your scope yet. Over the coming years permit prices may go up but for now it is safe to say that if you can afford to fuel your SUV to get to Hatteras you can easily spring for the annual permit. I don’t think you’ll reduce the number of ORVs on the beaches. The point is if we agree that the primary objective of the permits and closure is to make the hatteras national seashore more policeable they are shooting themselves in the foot by packing more people into smaller spaces. This applies to sound and ocean side.

Yep it is silly to blame enviros and use obscure accidents as reasons to pack more people in a smaller space. As you say, and I agree, the problem is people being people and more people competing for less space is going to generate incidents not prevent them. Thanks for reporting on the situation there. You and Keith have your fingers on the pulse so please keep the reports coming. This is good stuff.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Ultimately, its going to be an interesting summer here as people arrive on the OBX and cannot drive out onto the beach, or better yet, do not know they cannot drive out on the sand anywhere without a minimum $50 permit and "vacation time" spent obtaining it.

Just like the guy doing donuts and racing on the beach in Avon last week, he simply did/does not know a permit was required. Many more will experience that scenario once Memorial Day weekend arrives!

All said, I would like to see the days of yore when we were free to drive on the sand as we please, as many ORV proponents want, but its simply not going to happen.

As RDM noted, the areas of access will continue to likely shrink while permit prices will likely rise in coming years.


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