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The North Carolina Coast Sights

Ocracoke Pony Pen

  • Rte. 12 Map It
  • Ocracoke Island
  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Updated 10/22/2014

Fodor's Review

From the observation platform, 6 miles southwest of Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry landing, you can look out at the descendants of the Banker Ponies that roamed wild before the island came under the jurisdiction of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The Park Service took over management of the ponies in the early 1960s and has helped maintain the population of 25–30 animals; the wild herd once numbered nearly 500. All the animals you see today were born in captivity and are fed and kept on a 180-acre range. Legends abound about the arrival of the island's Banker Ponies. Some believe they made their way to the island after the abandonment of Roanoke's Lost Colony. Others believe they were left by early Spanish explorers or swam to shore following the sinking of the Black Squall, a ship carrying circus performers.

Sight Information


Rte. 12, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, 27960, United States

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Updated 10/22/2014


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