- The first English attempts at colonization in the New World (1585-1587) are commemorated here. These efforts, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, ended with the disappearance of 116 men, women and children (including two that were born in the New World). The fate of this "lost colony" remains a mystery to this day. The Park was created in 1941, and enlarged in 1990 by Public Law 101-603 to include the preservation of Native American Culture, the American Civil War, the Freedman's Colony and the activities of radio pioneer, Reginald Fessenden. The site also is home to the outdoor symphonic drama, "THE LOST COLONY", performed since 1937. The national historic site is 513 acres in size.
Recreation - The Lindsay Warren Visitor Center houses a museum with exhibits on the history of the English expeditions and colonies, and the "THE LOST COLONY" on Roanoke Island; a 17-minute introductory video; exhibits on the Civil War and Freeman's colony; and a gift shop operated by Roanoke Island Historical Association.
The Historic Site is a short distance off the Roanoke Island bike trail that parallels US 64-264. The area offers two trails: The Thomas Hariot Nature Trail which is a .25 mile loop trail and the Freedom Trail that travels for 1 mile extending from the site to the north end of Roanoke Island.
There are lodging and camping facilities located in Manteo, the adjacent communities and on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average above 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures range above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 48 to 52 inches (122 to 132 centimeters).
In summer the coastal areas tend to be warm, humid and buggy. Wear comfortable sportswear with a hat for the sun and good walking shoes that can take the sand and salt water.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is on Roanoke Island, and is located off US 64-264, three miles north of Manteo, NC. The site is 92 miles southeast of Norfolk, VA and 197 miles east of Raleigh, NC.