The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge spans 152,000 acres of land, making it one of the largest and most impressive natural areas in the state. Established in 1984, the refuge serves to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type—the pocosin. Marsh birds, black bears, white-tailed deer, red wolves, and many other animals all call the refuge home and offer visitors an incredible chance to see some of the area’s wildlife and embrace the natural beauty of the Outer Banks. While you’re here, don’t forget to utilize our free Vacation Guide to help you plan the perfect trip. Full of the best restaurants, attractions, and seasonal events, our expertly crafted guide is the easiest way to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything that the Outer Banks has to offer.

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Everything You’ll Find at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge


Whether you’re a wetland bird expert or you’re just looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge offers an exciting opportunity to see some of the area’s most intriguing wildlife. The refuge has two wildlife walking trails that wind their way through the wetland areas and are the perfect way to explore the terrain. There are also bike trails for those of you who are looking for a speedier way to make your way through the park!


Fishing is one of the most popular activities in the refuge, and it’s easy to see why. There is an endless list of beautiful spots to sit down and explore the area’s diverse catalog of fish species. The refuge is known for its large striped bass and trout populations, and sport fishing is allowed in any of the refuge’s open areas in accordance with state and federal fishing regulations!


Another fantastic way to experience the refuge is from the surface of the preserves gorgeous paddle trails. Grab a group of friends and your kayak or paddleboard, spending the day on the water while winding your way through the trees is the best way to connect with the environment. It’s also great exercise! Check out the Milltail Creek trail map and start planning your expedition today!


If you’re planning a trip to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and you just don’t know where to start, the refuge offers expertly guided tours that give you an excellent overview of the area’s exciting wildlife. The park offers canoe tours, bird watching, bear watching, red wolf watching, and plenty of other options. Depending on when you wish to visit, finding a tour on the schedule that’s right for you is an absolute breeze. For more information on tours, visit the visitor center’s website.

Where to Stay in the Outer Banks

A day spent exploring the incredible wildlife of the Outer Banks calls for a night spent in one of the area’s best properties. Luckily, no matter what part of the Outer Banks is calling your name, our incredible list of vacation rentals has the right home for groups of any size.

For example, Beach Time Out is a gorgeous home in Corolla that presents guests with an excellent chance to enjoy beautiful views of the ocean from the privacy of your very own luxury vacation rental. The property also features comfortable accommodations for 14 people, a private hot tub, and a fully equipped kitchen. Don’t forget to take a look at our last-minute deals before you start planning your stay. The fresh, ocean breeze and endless adventure of the Outer Banks are waiting!

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