Other Activities on Ocracoke Island
The Ocracoke Wild Banker Ponies can be seen from a Highway 12 roadside pasture area about 5 miles north of the village. The 100+ acre site includes a sturdy boardwalk through a section of scenic maritime forest that leads to a viewing platform with a spectacular view of pastures and sound.
The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in NC and is equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.
In 1798, a 54-foot wooden tower was built on the Ocracoke Inlet entrance where Edward Teach, otherwise known as “Blackbeard the Pirate,” lived at one time. The channel shifted, rendering the lighthouse ineffective. It was replaced by a light vessel in the inlet in 1820, but by 1822 this structure was also rendered useless by shifting sands. Congress authorized the money to build the present tower which stands 75 feet tall.
Tour the ghost town of Historic Portsmouth, a 20-minute boat ride away from Ocracoke. A former shipping center, it was once the largest settlement of the Outer Banks. Daily trips to Portsmouth start in June and depart from Ocracoke at 9:30am and return to Portsmouth for pickup at 2pm. Boat tours may be scheduled anytime. (252) 928-4361
Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum
Plan a visit to the museum from 10am – 4pm between Easter and Thanksgiving to view historical exhibits and listen to videos and tapes of old-timers speaking in island brogue. (252) 928-7375
Hammock Hills Nature Trail
Walking the Hammock Hills Nature Trail will wind you through several ecosystems — dunes, salt marsh and low maritime forests. Plaques along the .75-mile (1.2 kilometers) path provide notes on pine forest and wetlands ecology, and a platform provides the opportunity to view long-legged birds dabbling in the salt marsh edging Pamlico Sound. The trail is along Highway 12 north of the village opposite the campground.