Visitors to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands will simultaneously be visiting the gorgeous Cape Hatteras National Seashore. One of the largest preserved parcels of the Outer Banks, the National Seashore stretches across 70 miles of shoreline, encompassing seven villages on Hatteras Island, and providing visitors with miles of undisturbed, scenic beaches as well as some of the prettiest natural drives on the East Coast.
- Nags Head
- Map it
Washington Baum Bridge is a slab bridge over Roanoke Sound, connecting Roanoke Island to Nags Head on the Outer Banks. Just over a mile long, the bridge was completed in 1994 to replace an older drawbridge.
Both are named after Wanchese native Washington Franklin Baum (1876-1967), an influential citizen of the county during its formative years. As commissioner in the 1920s he led the drive to build the first bridge connecting Roanoke Island to the Outer Bank, and when that bridge was replaced in 1962, the new one was named in his honor.
At 82 feet at its highest elevation, the bridge features an incredible view of the Roanoke Sounds and Roanoke Island, and driving toward the beach in the early morning and toward the sound in the evening offers spectacular sunrise and sunset views.
The bridge also serves as one of the final phases of the popular annual Outer Banks Marathon that begins in Kitty Hawk. Runners reach the bridge at mile 23 of the race and are challenged with a 4% elevation grade for about 650 feet.
Under the bridge, across from Pirate’s Cove Marina is the Washington Baum Bridge Boat Ramp for small boats, canoes and kayaks. It includes a parking area for approximately 50 vehicles and trailers and several railed walkways that allow easy access for fishing.