Access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore - which includes all beaches in Hyde County- now involves permits, fees, and defined access areas:
After years of debate, rallying, and mounds of paperwork, the National Park Service has released the specifics of off-road vehicle use in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Rules took effect February 15, 2012.
Off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be obtained at any of the three NPS permit offices located at the Ocracoke Visitor Center, Coquina Beach, and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center. The cost of an annual off-road vehicle (ORV) permit is $120 and is valid for the calendar year. The cost of a 7-day ORV permit is $50. You must bring your driver's license and vehicle registration with you.
There is some slightly good news. Some exemptions are in place to protect historic fishing activities, such as commercial fishing and recreational fishing tournaments.