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Climb Cape Lookout This Weekend

Cape Lookout National Seashore. Photo: Mark Hibbs

HARKERS ISLAND — Cape Lookout Lighthouse will be open 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Monday for visitors to make a final climb to the top this year.

The seasonal Light Station Visitor Center and Keepers Quarters will also reopen Friday. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily until Oct. 28, as previously scheduled.

The national seashore is waiving lighthouse ticket fees to climb the lighthouse in recognition of the progress toward recovery from Hurricane Florence, according to a release Monday. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can only be acquired in-person at the site the day of the climb.  There are no advance tickets.

Originally the public climb season was to end in mid-September but was canceled due to Hurricane Florence.  This will be the final opportunity for the public to climb the lighthouse in 2018.

Children must be at least 44 inches tall, and those age 12 and under must be escorted by a person at least 16 years old. Visitors should bring along sunscreen, bug spray, water and snacks, and expect to pack out any trash as the park is a trash-free zone.  Officials recommend checking the weather ahead of time and dress accordingly. The climb is the equivalent to climbing a 10-story building.

The Harkers Island Visitor Center will resume regular hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tuesday. North Core Banks, South Core Banks, and Shackleford Banks will reopen to private vessels and foot traffic and day-use only. The Beaufort Visitor Information Center reopened Thursday.

The Island Express Ferry, the passenger ferry service to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and to Shackleford Banks is expected to resume Thursday. The authorized concessioner will be available daily beginning Thursday for passenger service from the ferry gateway locations in Beaufort, 701 Front St., and Harkers Island, 1800 Island Road. Call the ferry at 252-728-7433 or visit www.islandexpressferryservice.com for their scheduled times and fees.

Other facilities will reopen as grounds and structures are stabilized and deemed safe for the public.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.