4X4 Beach Driving

Beach Driving Rules & Regulations
  • Air Down All Tires
    • It is the law, you must air down all tires prior to getting on the beach.
    • Pull over to air down tires at the Corolla Village Road public access facility, located on the east side of N.C. 12.
    • Diagram on where to park on the beach.Pounds Per Square (PSI) inch should be:
      20 PSI for SUV’s & 1/2 ton 4X4
      35 PSI for 3/4 ton 4X4
    • To air your tire back up go to Historic Corolla Park. Enter at main park entrance and turn right into parking lot. Air stations are located at the end of the lot near the picnic pavilion.
  • Beach Driving Pattern Summer Change
    • Vehicles are required to use driving lanes adjacent to the dune line between Milepost 14.5 and Milepost 17 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Memorial Day through 11:59 p.m. Labor Day. Driving is not permitted at the shore line within this area during this time of day and time of year.
    • Driving is always permitted along the dune line throughout the 4×4 beach driving area.
    • All other times of the year, you can use driving lanes adjacent to the dune line or at the shore line
  • Parking On Beach
    • All vehicles shall be parked in the middle of the beach strand and not obstruct the traffic lane.
    • Do not stop or park in the beach ramp area. Once on the beach, there is no parking until you reach milepost 14.5. Vehicles must be parked in the area east of the dune line and west of the hard packed sand strip, adjacent to the water’s edge.
    • Parking is prohibited for the first 1.5 miles North of the 4WD (4-Wheel Drive) beach access.
    • Parking permits are required for parking at all times on the 4×4 beaches on the Friday before Memorial Day through 11:59 PM Labor Day. All vehicles that wish to park on the 4×4 beaches must purchase and obtain a Currituck County Beach Parking Permit.
    • Vehicle parking remains in the middle of the beach strand throughout the year.
  • Beach Is A State Road 
    • On the beach the speed limit is 35 mph.
    • When traveling within 300 feet of any person, the speed limit is 15 mph.
    • The shoreline (next to the water’s edge) and dune traffic lane  (those deeply rutted tracks next to the dunes) are designated Fire, Emergency, and Vehicular traffic Lanes. Do not impede traffic  by stopping, setting up beach chairs, digging holes or building sand structures in the designated traffic lanes.
    • The entire beach, including parking areas, becomes driving areas after dark. At the end of each day, visitors please remove all personal items (beach chairs, nets, poles, ropes, etc.) and level all sand structures (sand castles, holes, etc.) to ensure the safety of those driving on the beach at night.
    • Driving a vehicle in a repeated circular motion (doing “donuts”) or driving in the surf are examples of careless and reckless driving.
    • All vehicles to be driven on the beach and roads behind the dunes must be registered, properly licensed, and insured.
    • Share the road, watch for pedestrians, horses and other wildlife.
  • Tips
    • Gas tanks should be full – there are NO gas stations on 4-wheel drive areas.
    • Use 4-wheel drive onto the ramp and maintain a slow, steady speed.
Playing on the beach
  • Personal Items
    • No beach chairs, coolers, fishing lines, or other items should be placed in a location that blocks the traffic lanes. Items should be place between the waterline and the dune line.
    • You may involve moving vehicles and belongings with the tide change.
    • Visitors should not leave any unattended property on the beach. Any property remaining on the beach between sunset and sunrise shall be considered litter and is subject to removal and disposal.
  • Help Preserve Beach
    • It is illegal to walk on or traverse the dunes outside of a defined dune walkover beach access point.
    • Visitors must fill in any holes dug while playing on the beach to prevent safety hazards for those traveling on the beach. Excessive and unsafe digging or piling of sand on the beach is prohibited. 
    • Please remove all trash when you leave and help keep the Currituck Outer Banks beautiful for everyone.
    • Respect our wild horse’s & wildlife. It is against the law to get closer than 50 feet to the horses or to feed them.

Visit the Currituck County Travel and Tourism website for more information about the beaches and local attractions.