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Outer Banks Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Jump To: Buxton | Corolla | Kill Devil Hills | Kitty Hawk | Manteo | Nags Head | Rodanthe

Buxton Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve
NC Highway 12
Buxton, NC 27920
(252) 261-8891
The largest remaining maritime forest in the Southeast consists of pine- and oak-covered dune ridges and maritime swamp forest. It's a rare ecosystem for a barrier island, and most visitors don't even realize it exists. The N.C. Division of Coastal Management maintains a 968-acre portion of the woods for research, education and recreation and offers some great hiking trails for the public to use to experience this amazing ecosystem. You might see one of 360 species of birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons, plus gray fox, white-tailed deer, mink, river otter, box turtles, salamanders or other creatures.

Buxton Woods National Park Service Nature Trail
46375 Lighthouse Road,
Buxton, NC 27920
(252) 995-4474
Part of the National Park and Cape Hatteras National Seashore at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Enjoy a hike in the beautiful woods of Buxton with views of the Lighthouse.

Near the lighthouse is a three-quarter-mile trail through the maritime forest of Buxton Woods. When heading toward the lighthouse, turn right on the road that heads toward the Cape Point Campground. A pine-needle-covered path leads back into the forest. Along the way there are informational signs about the maritime forest ecosystem and the health of Buxton Woods. You'll pass a naturally occurring freshwater pond called Jennette's Sedge. This is a mostly flat, easy walk, though it's not recommended for the disabled due to uneven terrain.

Corolla Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education
1160 Village Lane
Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 453-0221

Kill Devil Hills Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Nags Head Woods Preserve & The Nature Conservancy
701 W Ocean Acres Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-2525

North Carolina Coastal Land Trust
701 W Ocean Acres Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 449-8289

Kitty Hawk Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.)
PO Box 1168
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 441-8622
NEST is located in Kill Devil Hills and can be reached at (252) 441-8622.

The North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve
983 W Kitty Hawk Road
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 261-8891
The Kitty Hawk office of The North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve oversees research of Currituck Banks, Kitty Hawk Woods and Buxton Woods.

Manteo Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
708 S US Highway 64/264
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-1131
The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public year round. The Refuge is a challenge to outdoor enthusiasts. Photographers, bird watchers and outdoor lovers will find the Refuge intriguing although they should keep in in mind it can be difficult to manuver. If you enjoy birding, watching black bears, hunting, fishing, walking or observing wildlife, including red wolves, you will find that there is something for every outdoor lover here.

One of the best ways to see the preserve is by water and small motor boats, canoes and kayaks may be launched from the south end of Buffalo City Road. Guided canoe tours are available for a fee.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-2111
Three Visitor Centers are located throughout the Outer Banks to provide visitor information about Cape Hatteras National Seashore. For Bodie Island information, call 252-441-5711; for Hatteras Island information, call 252-995-4474; and for Ocracoke Island information, call 252-928-4531. The Visitor Centers can provide information about area activites and attractions, including the Ocracoke Lighthouse, Bodie Island Lighthouse and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

The Elizabethan Gardens
1411 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-3234
History, mystery and fantasy are combined in these special gardens, which are a memorial to the first English colonists who came to North America in 1584-1587 and walked away through the dark forest into history. In 1951, The Garden Club of North Carolina adopted The Elizabethan Gardens as a project. The Gardens were designed by two of the nation's foremost landscape architects, M. Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel and display a collection of ancient garden statuary from the John Hay Whitney collection.

Flower bordered walkways, antique garden statuary and majestic trees greet visitors at this 16th century pleasure garden created by The Garden Club of North Carolina as a living memorial to the lost colonists. Highlights include the thatched gazebo, Shakespearean herb garden and formal sunken gardens. A plethora of beautiful flowering plants, wildflowers, shrubs and trees located at the historic site of The Lost Colony. Created by The Garden Club of North Carolina to memorialize the colonists who were lost these lovely gardens include ancient statuary and Shakespearean Herb Garden.

There is beauty for all, year round, in this lovely garden in its tranquil setting on the shores of Roanoke Sound. Located within Fort Raleigh adjacent to Waterside Theatre.

Nags Head Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Jockey's Ridge State Park
300 W Carolista Drive
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-7132
The dunes are constantly shifting and changing and this is one of the best places to “go fly a kite”! Picnic tables are available. Take the family and watch the hang-gliders soar above or better yet, try it yourself.

You must have a valid USHGA rating and need to check into the park office for a permit. Call Kitty Hawk Kites for more information about hang gliding lessons; 1-877-Fly.This.

Rodanthe Preserves, Refuges & Conservancies

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
NC Highway 12
Rodanthe, NC 27968
(252) 987-2394
A good place to start a Pea Island visit is the Visitor Center, located on the northern end of Hatteras Island, about 4 miles south of Oregon Inlet. It provides a good introduction to the ecosystem and wildlife of the refuge and the activities that are permitted there. You can obtain trail maps and informational brochures. Restrooms and parking are available. Start a hike around North Pond here. Ask about the canoe tours and guided bird walks that are offered during the summer months. Hours of operation for the Visitor Center are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is 13 miles of pristine barrier island. The beaches are mostly devoid of people, and there are several paths to get to the beach. Great for surfing, surf-fishing, shell-hunting, kayaking, photography and other outdoor activities. Sorry: No driving on the beach.

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Outer Banks Area Directory:


Rentals By Name Rentals By Number Search By Name or Number
Avon Office
40227 Tigrone Boulevard
Avon, NC 27915
Rentals: 1-800-627-1850
Sales: 1-866-627-6627
E-Mail: Rentals | Sales
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
(June through September 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)

Waves Office
25206 Sea Vista Drive
Waves, NC 27982
Rentals: 1-800-627-1850
Sales: 1-866-627-6627
E-Mail: Rentals | Sales
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
(June through September 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)

Hatteras Office
57205 Eagle Pass Road
Hatteras, NC 27943
Rentals: 1-800-627-1850
Sales: 1-866-627-6627
E-Mail: Rentals | Sales
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
(June through September 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)

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