Introducing: Pathways to Your National Parks

Our Pathways to Your National Parks project aims to make all three of our Outer Banks national parks safer and more connected over the next few years, while honoring the history and the coastal environment of our local community. The first multi-use path we are partnering with our parks to bring you will connect to one of the most iconic sites in the Outer Banks: The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Please Note: All images below are draft examples of the pathway’s features, not final architectural drawings. 

Your New Lighthouse Experience

The new Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pathway will enhance the experience for everyone who visits the lighthouse, starting with improvements to the entrance.

Traveling alongside Lighthouse Road safely separated from traffic, you will have a chance to experience and learn about the ecology and wildlife that is unique to the Outer Banks.

As the ocean comes into view, you will stop at a new educational plaza and Old Lighthouse Beach where you will learn about the history of surfing and water sports that made Hatteras Island a premier water sports destination on the East Coast.

If you continue to the lighthouse, you will travel alongside the path that the lighthouse itself took on its historic 2,900-foot journey to safety back in 1999. There will be opportunities for you to stop along this route to learn why moving this iconic structure was necessary and, more importantly, how this incredible feat of engineering succeeded.

Support This Project Today!


We need your help to make this new Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pathway a reality. Please click the buttons below to view our giving levels and benefits for individual and family supporters, as well as for our business sponsors. Thank you for supporting your OBX national Parks!


Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pathway

Each year, millions of visitors venture to the Outer Banks to visit Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and many make a point to visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Considered one of the most iconic lighthouses in the country, the lighthouse site in Buxton, NC, is popular for its beautiful beach and is a top surfing destination on the East Coast.

Create Connection

The first phase of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pathway will begin at the entrance to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Route 12, connecting the town of Buxton to Old Lighthouse Beach and the original site of the lighthouse, as well as to the current lighthouse grounds. A new trailhead and improved entrance signage will be added to guide park visitors into this important part of our Outer Banks community.

Make it Safer

When families, local children, and surfers come to visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, they often take in the sights, sounds, and stories on foot or by bike. Currently, the only way to do this is to brave the main roads alongside vehicular traffic. Phase One of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pathway will provide a safer alternative: a mile-long, accessible, paved path for walking, running, and cycling from Route 12 to the lighthouse.

Honor Community

In addition to safely connecting the town of Buxton to these important local sites, new educational signage will be installed along the path to help everyone learn more about our unique barrier islands, the history of surf culture and water sports in the Outer Banks, and the story of why and how the lighthouse was moved in 1999.

Optional: Why did you choose to support Pathways to Your National Parks?

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