One of the best places to experience wildlife on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. This unique wetland habitat has plenty of activities to do and you may even spot an American alligator, black bear, or an endangered red wolf! Before you lace up your hiking shoes, take a look at our complimentary Vacation Guide! You’ll find out about other exciting places to explore, as well as dining and entertainment.
Explore the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in East Lake, NC
As you step onto the grounds of the refuge, one of the first things you’ll hear is a multitude of unique bird songs. This area is a great spot for bird watching as there are more than 250 species of birds on the refuge. You’ll find many different habitats including wetlands, forests, marshes, cropland, and freshwater lakes and ponds. Discover new wildlife species while taking part in the following recreational activities!
Start With the National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center
Learn all about the refuge by stopping by the visitor center on Roanoke Island. You can take a walk through interactive exhibits, programs, and a virtual plane ride! It’s free to the public seven days a week!
Next, Go Canoeing and Kayaking on Milltail Creek
Dip your paddle into the serene waters of Milltail Creek. It has 15 miles of color-coded paddling trails waiting for you to explore! The trails range from a 1.5 mile-loop trail to a 5.5-mile-out-and-back trail. The trails all lead to different areas such as Sawyer Lake or Alligator River.
Then, Navigate the Wildlife Trails of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Creef Cut Wildlife Trail is an excellent trail for large groups or solo travelers. The trail is universally accessible with a fishing platform and it leads to Sawyer Lake. Be on the lookout for some crappie, bluegill, and other freshwater fish. Make sure you have a state fishing license before casting a line! These can be purchased online.
Get ready to get a little dirty on the Sandy Ridge Wildlife Trail. It’s considered to be a bit more rustic and wild than the Creef Cut Wildlife Trail is. Be careful with strollers and wheelchairs on this route. It’s accessible to both but the trail may be a bit rocky.
Sandy Ridge runs parallel to the Millcreek Paddling Trails so you’ll probably see some kayakers and canoers along the way!
Biking and horseback riding are not allowed on the walking trails but there are separate routes available for those who want to travel by foot or by horse! Once you reach the end of the trail, listen closely because you might just hear a colony of red wolves howling!
Bring the family out to the refuge for an amazing learning experience! The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge offers many different guided programs and tours! You’ll learn all about the different species that roam the area while getting the experience of a lifetime!
Book Your Outer Banks Adventure With Paramount Destinations
You’ve spent the day exploring and now it’s time to kick your feet up with Paramount Destinations! Silver Creek in Southern Shores is located right near the ocean and accommodates 14 people! This gorgeous home is perfect for relaxing by the pool and grilling up a delicious meal on the deck! Are you ready for an amazing vacation on the Outer Banks? Check our availability for any of our private properties in Corolla, Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Southern Shores! We can’t wait to see you!