Shackleford Banks, Harkers Island

Shackleford Banks is a barrier island system on the coast of Carteret County, North Carolina. It contains a herd of feral horses, scallop, crabs and various sea animals, including summer nesting by loggerhead turtles. It is a tourist and beach camping site.
Shackleford Banks is located near Harkers Island, North Carolina, Beaufort, North Carolina, and Fort Macon State Park, and is a part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.
In 1713, the Virginia planter John Shackleford acquired several large tracts of land in Bath County, which included Shackleford Banks. Among these was a grant of land containing seven thousand acres (28 km²). This tract on the early maps was known as Sea Banks. It was then, and is now, part of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Carteret County.
When John Shackleford first acquired his tract at Shackleford Banks, the island was known as "Cart Island," most likely after Carteret County. The last of the Virginia Shacklefords apparently sold their generations-old holding in 1805, when James Shackleford (the spelling of the name varies) of Carteret County sold his holdings on the Banks to Roger and John Shackleford of Georgetown, South Carolina, where a branch of the Virginia Shackleford family had eventually migrated. That deed specified "a certain parcel of land on Old Topsail Inlet, beginning at Whaler's Creek on said Banks and across to the sea; thence back to Old Topsail Inlet." (The Shackleford family traced their Virginia origins to the village of Shacklefords in King and Queen County.)
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Shackleford Banks Reviews
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  • My family and I took the ferry here for the afternoon and our only regret was that we didn’t get there earlier in the day. The beach was great and the water was much clearer and shallower than on Atla...  more »
  • We took the Island Express Ferry from Beaufort to Shackleford. We were greeted by a mare and foal as soon as we got off the ferry. We kept our distance, but were able to admire them and take wonderful...  more »
  • Daughter and I loved the horses and the beach. Even found a few nice shells. Keep it clean people its a beautiful place.
  • My favorite escape location, natural beach beauty at its best. Be sure to bring everything you need (water) as the beach, horses, trails, and a small restroom is the only thing there is here.
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