Shackleford Wild Horse & Shelling Safari
Take a 15 minute ferry ride over to the pristine Outer Banks Island of Shackleford Banks, which is part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. There you will be introduced to the Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks. This free roaming herd is believed to have descended from Horses that were brought here roughly 400 years ago, and still survive as one of the last isolated groups of wild horses in the United States.
You will help your guide track the horses and see first hand the fascinating behavior of horses in the wild, a rare experience with nature that you’ll never forget. Bring your camera for pictures that will forever remind you of this amazing place and its fascinating inhabitants.
After the tour, you will be directed to one of the best shelling beaches in all of North Carolina where you can spend some time on your own shelling your way down the beach with the Cape Lookout Lighthouse off in the distance. Shackleford is well known as one of the best shelling destinations on the East Coast. Among other things, you can find Conchs, Whelks, Queen’s Helmets, Scotch Bonnets, Olive Shells, Sand Dollars, and more.
Port City Tour Company has been licensed by the US Park Service for nearly a decade and a half to conduct tours on the island, and our experience shows!
The Wild Horse & Shelling Safari is a guided tour that takes place on a wild, yet beautiful, Island. There are no sidewalks or boardwalks on the Island, and the tour is of a strenuous nature. You will walk up to 2 miles over soft, deep sand, up and over sand dunes and through potentially muddy salt marshes. Additionally, be aware that the tour will take the group hiking into the interior of an uninhabited, undeveloped Island where access to medical attention is difficult and timely to arrange.
If you have any trouble walking, or have any pre-existing conditions that affect your health in a way that would make it difficult for you to handle the terrain and physical demands described above, or if it would be dangerous for you to be far away from the possibility of emergency medical attention, then this tour is not recommended for you.
Please be sure that all the members of your group are aware of the warning above, and the members of your group are not placed in danger by overestimating or overstating the abilities of the members of your group.
Details & Policies
All ferry boats are fully US Coast Guard inspected & carry all the latest required safety gear.
What do we need to Wear? You should wear what you would normally wear for a “Day at the Beach” – Many people like to wear their bathing suit so that they are able to swim if they choose. You will want to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting sandy or wet. We find that the best choices are sandals with a heel strap, Crocs, water shoes, or the equivalent. You probably don’t want to wear sneakers and socks, or any type of shoe with a heel. A hat is a good idea – there is very little shade on the Island.
What do we need to Bring? You are welcome to bring as much or as little as you like with the Captain’s discretion. Since you are able to spend additional time on the island after the tour, you are welcome to bring coolers, beach chairs, umbrellas, beach bags, fishing rods, etc… Many folks like to bring a picnic lunch and stay on the island for an extra hour or two after the tour to have lunch, spend more time looking for shells, go swimming, go fishing, or whatever else. Shackleford is a great place to spend the day relaxing and soaking up the sun. You should definitely bring some water. Other things to consider bringing: sunscreen, camera, binoculars, snacks, etc…
What’s on the Island? It’s important that you know there are no concessions of any kind on the Island, so you will need to bring whatever you need to be comfortable with you.
How long will we be on the Island? The minimum amount of time you will be on the island will be 2 hours. You will schedule your pickup time when you check in for the tour, and you are welcome to choose from any available pickup time throughout the day.
Reservations are always necessary. Please reserve your tour by booking online or giving us a call. We operate on a daily schedule. Approximately, tours are available during the months of June, July, & August. This tour will operate year round as long as we can reach a minimum number of guest. During the months between Labor Day & Memorial Day, please call to make arrangements. Please be sure that you’re following the directions :: YOU WILL MEET YOUR GUIDE BEFORE BOARDING THE FERRY :: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE FERRY TICKETS AS IT IS ALREADY PAID FOR AS PART OF THE PRICE OF YOUR TOUR.
In order to receive a refund, you must cancel 48 hours before the tour. This is so we have a chance to fill your spots. If you don’t cancel 48 hours before the tour there will be no refunds available.
Maps & Directions
Please meet at the Grayden Paul Park under the Gazebo. You do not need to go to the Ferry Ticket Booth to buy tickets. We take care of everything for you.
GPS Address | 702 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516
From Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach & Morehead City
Take Hwy. 70E across two bridges into Beaufort, go straight thru the first stoplight, take a right at the 2nd street (Queen St.), go straight 3 blocks to the Waterfront, turn left onto Front St. and we’re on your right. Meet your Guide in Grayden Paul Park under the Gazebo, directly across from Beaufort Town Hall. YOU WILL MEET YOUR GUIDE BEFORE BOARDING THE FERRY :: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE TICKETS AS IT IS ALREADY PAID FOR AS PART OF THE PRICE OF YOUR TOUR.
From “Down East”, Harker’s Island, Cedar Island
Follow Hwy. 70W into Beaufort. Just after No Name Pizza, go straight thru the stoplight at Cedar St. (don’t turn right at Hwy. 70W), go straight three blocks to the Waterfront, turn right at Front St., go 2 1/2 blocks and we’re on your left. Meet your Guide in Grayden Paul Park under the Gazebo, directly across from Beaufort Town Hall. YOU WILL MEET YOUR GUIDE BEFORE BOARDING THE FERRY :: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE TICKETS AS IT IS ALREADY PAID FOR AS PART OF THE PRICE OF YOUR TOUR.
Beaufort has instituted parking meters for street parking along much of the Downtown area, so please be sure to feed the meters appropriately to avoid returning from a wonderful trip to find a nasty parking ticket on your car. On the weekends, you can use the BB&T Bank parking lot at no charge.
Please arrive in plenty of time to park your vehicle, unload your gear, pay the meter & make it to the Grayden Paul Park under the Gazebo.
From the parking lot on Queen St., simply walk south to Front St., cross Front St. to the water side and walk with the water on your right hand side. The Grayden Paul Park Gazebo is located approximately 150 feet down the sidewalk.
Check in with your Guide at least 30 minutes before your departure time to avoid being left behind!