Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks

Shackleford Banks is a 2,500 acre barrier island located across Beaufort Inlet from Atlantic Beach. Part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, Shackleford Banks is famous for the wild Shackleford Horses that roam the uninhabited island.

The origin of the Shackleford Horses is steeped in mystery, with the most common legend telling the story of Spanish Mustangs swimming ashore from their wrecked ship. What is known is that the horses are the direct descendants of a 400 year old line of Spanish Horses that are linked by a specific genetic marker.

Today the Shackleford Horses number just over 100, and are closely monitored by the Park Service. They freely roam their island and provide visitors with the rare opportunity to view wild horses in their natural environment.

The island is accessible via boat or ferry, with various passenger services and tours operated from Morehead City, Beaufort and Harkers Island.

In addition to the horses, Shackleford Banks offers pristine shelling, fishing and camping adventures.

Beaufort to Shackleford Banks Ferry Services

Island Express Ferry Service [Shakelford Banks & Cape Lookout]

New Fast Comfortable Ferries, Local Experienced Captains, Finest Pristine Waters & Sandy Beaches, Best Shelling in NC , Wild Horses, Hiking, Fishing, Photography, Leave your stress of the mainland behind. "An Experience to Last a Lifetime" Departs from Downtown Beaufort.

600 Front Street
Beaufort, NC 28516
Ferry Schedule & Rates

Island Express Ferry Phone: (252) 728-7433


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