PUBLIC BEACH PARKING & ACCESS
(Maps - Guide)
North Carolina Beaches
The links above provide several “easy-to-find” maps of the public parking & access available along the Bogue Banks barrier chain. Bogue Banks is actually a continuous barrier island approximately 25.4 miles long including Fort Macon State Park that occupies the eastern 1.4 miles of the island, and is followed east to west by the political subdivisions of the Town of Atlantic Beach, the Town of Pine Knoll Shores, the Town of Indian Beach, the unincorporated community of Salter Path, and the Town of Emerald Isle.
facilities identified in the maps are those areas where the parking/access
points are entirely owned or leased by one of the Bogue Banks
communities or the State of North Carolina. Although not identified
on the following maps, there are several establishments along
the island that allow for seasonal or paid parking & access,
such as Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle and the Sheraton
Hotel located in Atlantic Beach. Moreover, there almost one hundred
additional access points located along Bogue Banks for the overnight
cottage renter or similar-type visitor. Many of these accesses
are furnished with wooden walkways, ramps, or overlooks for that
sunset walk or day at the beach.
History of Bogue Banks
The history of Bogue Banks started as series of small fishing villages with little regard to land ownership and distinct communities. Lieutenant Eliason first began surveying the easternmost end of Bogue Banks in 1826 for the construction of Fort Macon that was named after North Carolina statesman Nathaniel Macon. Approximately 15 million bricks were utilized from 1826-1834 to construct the Fort at a cost of almost $464,000. Inlet and hurricane induced erosion claimed earlier fortifications and by the time the Fort was completed, it was determined that shore armoring was required as well. During the 1840s, Robert E. Lee, a recent graduate of West Point designed and supervised the construction of the first jetty, groynes, and other shore armoring structures (even the history of shore protection has a record in Bogue Banks lore).
Macon was surrendered to Union forces during the Civil War on
April 25, 1862 and served as a prison following its capture.
Fort Macon became North Carolina’s second State park in
1924 when the U.S. Congress permitted the State to claim officially
abandoned Federal facilities for one dollar. The Fort remained
in disrepair until the Civilian Conservation Corps restored the
Fort in the mid 1930s. The Fort Macon State Park was opened for
public use in 1936, and presently holds two large parking areas
that can accommodate 594 automobiles and also houses the U.S.
Coast Guard – Group Fort Macon. According to the N.C. Division
or Parks and Recreation newsletter, The Steward, Fort Macon is
consistently the most visited State Park in the coastal plain
with well over a 1.25 million visitors reported in 2003 alone.
Path was passed from John A. Royal to Alice Green Hoffman, a
distant member of the Roosevelt (Theodore) family and daughter
of Alfred Green, a former governor of New Jersey. Alice Hoffman
developed an estate in present day Pine Knoll Shores (PKS) and
sued the residents of Salter Path in 1923 because their cows
were wandering onto her estate. A subsequent court decision permitted
the residents of Salter Path to remain, but the cows were not
allowed to graze on the Hoffman Estate. The village was restricted
to 81 acres that the squatters occupied, and direct ownership
of the beachfront was granted to the village to use collectively.
This ruling further stated that only current residents and descendents
could occupy the property, but it did not give any individuals
title to the land. This ruling remained intact until 1979 when
a legal settlement permitted Salter Path residents to hold a
title to their property and for Carteret County to levy taxes
on the former squatter’s village.
Two events related to these individuals probably represent the modern era of development on Bogue Banks. In 1953 Alice Hoffman passed away, and in 1954, Henry Fort’s daughter sold the western portion of the island. Ms. Hoffman’s real estate was passed to the Roosevelt family in the 1930s, and these properties along with those previously owned by Mr. Fort were subsequently developed to its modern level of today as the two main heirs began selling their vast estates. EI was incorporated in 1957 and PKS was charted in 1973. EI has seen significant growth since the Cameron Langston Bridge was erected in 1971, connecting the mainland to the western region of Bogue Banks. PKS’s development on the other hand has been intimately tied to the Roosevelt heirs. For one, the Roosevelts constructed few roads running shore normal that could be used for access and parking. A more serious matter however, is that the Roosevelts also employed two different levels of restrictions that have made public access difficult to accomplish in PKS. The first level is restrictive covenants that apply to most oceanfront properties and include prohibitions regarding public use of any properties. The second level is “reversion” clauses whereby if deed conditions are violated concerning public use, then the ownership of the property reverts back to the Roosevelt family. Theodore Roosevelt IV, a great grandson of the former president, five first cousins and two Roosevelt testamentary trusts, must release the restrictive covenants and reverters if public access and parking are to be obtained.
AB is the oldest commercial town on Bogue Banks and was first visualized as a seaside resort in the 1870’s by Appleton Oaksmith of mainland Carteret County. Mr. Oaksmith acquired all of AB and a portion of east PKS but never constructed his resort community after he lost his ambition when four of his daughters died in an accident on July 4, 1879. However, Mr. Oaksmith’s conception of a seaside resort came to fruition when John J. Royal of Morehead City and Winfield S. Chadwick of Beaufort constructed the first bathing pavilion on Bogue Banks in the location of present day Club Colony in 1887. AB enjoyed a brisk ferry trade and entertainment business and quickly became the center of dancing and band music by the time the original toll bridge opened in 1928. The bridge remained a toll bridge from its opening until it was sold to the State of North Carolina in 1934. Also in 1928, AB went through a revitalization period and the new AB opened for business with a newly established resort situated in an area that became known as the “Circle”, which continues to be the town’s focal point today. The economic boom of the post-World War II era helped AB develop to its modern level of today and also represents the time period when N.C. Highway 58 was opened to the rest of the island heading west.
of Atlantic Beach website