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Shackleford Banks, Harkers Island

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Island Wildlife Area
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.HistoryIn 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 kmĀ²). 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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167 reviews
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  • We went here to see the wild horses and were not disappointed. We took the ferry over and suggest you make reservations in advance. We also suggest water, sunscreen, and summer/swim attire at the bare...  more »
  • Loved the experience of learning about shelling, how to find shells, the Spanish ponies and the small island. Spent a couple of hours romping across the island and into the water desperately trying to...  more »
  • A true hidden gem. I almost don't want to rave about it because currently the area is very unpopulated... and that is what makes it so special. But giving my honest opinion it was awesome. So glad we ...  more »

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