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Jockey's Ridge State Park
Current status of park facilities   

The main park entrance and dune are open from 8:00am to 9:00pm. The Soundside access and swim beach are open from 8:00am to 7:00pm. Please be advised that the parking lot at our Soundside Access fills up very quickly. We recommend arriving as early as possible as the parking lot is the only designated area where you may park to enjoy our Soundside beach area. You may be ticketed or towed if you park along Soundside Road or in any other undesignated area. Please look for alternative access sites such as those located on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

After 27 years, our Visitors’ Center is being renovated! Please excuse our appearance while we are remodeling. From May 24, 2021 until April 2022, the Visitors’ Center will be closed to the public. However, the Park, the public restroom building located near the Visitors’ Center, and the Soundside Access will be open during normal operating hours. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Trails and restrooms at both park accesses are open. Please follow the 3-Ws and any posted guidelines. 

With 24-hour advance notice, and dependent upon weather and ranger availability, we are offering dune rides to visitors with mobility restrictions on a limited basis, please call the park for more details. 

When visiting, please follow the North Carolina State Parks Guidelines listed above. 

Please monitor this page for additional information.

 Last updated on: Monday, May 24, 2021


Map of North Carolina – Jockey's Ridge State Park


Contact the park
 

252-441-7132

jockeys.ridge@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

Visitor center

300 W. Carolista Drive
Nags Head, NC 27959

GPS: 35.9642, -75.6330

 

Soundside access

330 W. Soundside Road
Nags Head, NC 27959

GPS: 35.9525, -75.6320
 

Hours
 

► 

  • November to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • October:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • October to March:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • April to September:
    8:00am to 7:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • The park visitor center is currently under construction for renovations and is CLOSED until next spring.
     
  • October to March:
    9:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • April to September:
    9:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

 

 

 

Educational programs

Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Jockey's Ridge State Park. Check the Events calendar for more information. To arrange a special exploration of Jockey's Ridge State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.

Educational materials about Jockey's Ridge State Park have been developed for grades 4-6 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Jockey's Ridge program introduces students to the environment of a sand dune and the plants and animals that live on and around it. Major concepts covered include adaptations, animal signs and natural area preservation. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.

 


Jockey's Ridge State Park - Dune Ranger booklet cover Download the Jockey's Ridge
Dune Ranger booklet

 

Exhibit Hall

Learn more about the natural, cultural and historical history of Jockey's Ridge State Park and the Outer Banks at the park's exhibit hall. Find out what dunes are made of, how they are created and how they are shaped. Research the history of storms and their influences on park dunes and on the Outer Banks. Learn about the plants and animals of Jockey's Ridge and about their role in the park now and how they were used in earlier days. Find out more about the various activities available on the dune. Ever wonder where the names 'Kill Devil Hills' and 'Nags Head' came from? Visit the exhibit hall to find out more about these and other legends, including Blackbeard's treasure.

The exhibit hall is located in the park visitor center and is open from 9am until 5pm daily. Exhibits include:

  • A diorama that depicts what happens at night when the park is closed and the wildlife comes out to takes over the dune.
  • A computer program that allows visitors to see how the rising sea level created the Outer Banks and its dunes.
  • A computer program that allows visitors to research the weather at Jockey's Ridge.
  • Several matching games that allow visitors to match tracks to the animals that created them, dune names to their locations across the country, dune shapes to the shape's name, and leaf shapes to the corresponding plants.
  • A display of fulgurites, the glass tubes formed when lightning strikes a dune.

 

Park Maps and Brochures:

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 2:00pm
Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 4:00pm
Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 8:00pm