Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Visit the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Outer Banks

04/08/2022 | by Madeleine Allen | Outer Banks Outdoor Recreation

The Outer Banks is more than sprawling beaches, fresh seafood, and relaxing sea breezes. You can escape the crowds in the beautiful and serene nature throughout the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Keep reading to discover how to make the most of your time here!

For more things to do and places to see in the Outer Banks, request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide!

Everything You Need to Know About Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Attractions and Activities at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is full of natural wonders. From wildlife to scenic coastal marshes, this is one of the most beautiful areas along the Outer Banks. It’s a great place to explore if you need a break from the beach crowds. There are more than a handful of attractions throughout the expansive preserve. 

You won’t have to venture far from your Pirate’s Cove Realty rental to reach the National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center on the northern end of Roanoke Island. Inside, you’ll find state-of-the-art exhibits highlighting the unique habitats and wildlife that call the preserve home.

The Wildlife Drive is a 15-mile road weaving through the heart of the refuge. This provides some of the best opportunities for exploring the preserve and seeing some of the incredible wildlife. 

If you want to hit the water, rent a kayak and paddle down the Milltail Creek Paddling Trail. This scenic river trip takes you along the stunning banks of the gorgeous waterways winding through some of the most diverse coastal wetlands along the East Coast.

You can also enjoy hunting in the refuge. It is a seasonal activity, and you must consult North Carolina state hunting regulations as well as any special regulations determined by the refuge.

Sights at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

One of the best things to do at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is wildlife viewing. Trails range from a mile to several and offer fantastic opportunities to see the diverse species that roam the area. Red wolves and black bears are among the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuges’ most storied residents. 

The park offers guided tours, including canoe trips, tram rides, and red wolf howls that provide excellent opportunities to see these wild wonders. Throughout the year, you can see black bears in the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge, especially on warmer days in the early morning or evenings. There is also a photo blind for photographers looking to take home prized shots of the landscape.

Book Your Pirate’s Cove Realty RentalManteo, NC

Pirate’s Cove Realty offers the ultimate Outer Banks experience. Our rentals provide visitors with a variety of locations on Roanoke Island, giving you access to the beach, nature preserves, historical attractions, and more! Whether you want to stay in a condo in downtown Manteo or a home in Pirate’s Cove Resort, you’ll find the perfect property for your needs.

Start planning your getaway today by booking one of our properties! We look forward to welcoming you to the Outer Banks.