New Bern Wild Horses
If you want a fun and exciting activity to do while vacationing in New Bern, consider traveling to Shackleford Banks, an island with wild horses in North Carolina. Watch from a respectful distance how the horses live free without the help of humans.
As you plan your visit to New Bern and to see the horses, book a campsite at New Bern KOA Holiday. While our campground is about an hour away from the island, you can still enjoy knowing you're camping with wild horses in North Carolina.
History of the Wild Horses
The wild horses on Shackleford Banks have been around for centuries, living and thriving off the island's natural resources and without interference from people. The island is home to more than 100 horses. They are a unique cultural and historical legacy that graces North Carolina.
Genetic tests and historical research suggest the horses are descendants of old Colonial Spanish horses. The only other horses with the same genetic makeup as those on Shackleford Banks are in an isolated area in the Pryor Mountains in Montana.
Can You Ride the Horses?
You cannot ride the Shackleford Banks horses. The horses have federal law protection, ensuring they maintain their wildness and limit interaction with people. Touching, teasing, feeding or intentionally disturbing the horses and wildlife is illegal and dangerous. Protect yourself, your family and the horses by staying back.
How to Safely View the Horses
To ensure the horses remain comfortable and have enough space to continue their natural activities, you must watch them from at least 50 feet away. Maintaining this distance is crucial to keeping you and the horses safe. When you are viewing the horses, stay on guard so you can see all the horses in one glance. If a horse starts moving toward you, keep your distance by moving back or staying still while it passes.
How to Get to Shackleford Banks
Shackleford Banks is the southernmost island of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. You can access the island where the wild horses are on the beach in North Carolina by taking a ferry from Island Express Ferry Sevice LLC. They are the only authorized ferry service to drop off guests at Shackleford Banks and the Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
Stay at New Bern KOA Holiday
Make a day trip out of visiting Shackleford Banks to see the horses run along the Atlantic beach. Only about an hour's drive away from New Bern KOA Holiday lets you experience these majestic, wild horses first-hand.
Book your stay in one of our cabins or bring your RV to camp at one of our RV Sites.