If you’re road tripping to the Outer Banks, or want to take a day trip while visiting, there are many National Wildlife Refuges and a National Forest close by with a range of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Last stop before the bridge to Roanoke Island, Alligator River National Wildlife was full of surprises, whether you’re a hiker or safari enthusiast.
+Creef Cut Wildlife Trail
A one mile round trip, out and back, paved, fully accessible trail. Even in the middle of the day, this trail was filled with wildlife. We spotted the bright and cheery prothonotary warbler,
a girthy snake out for a swim,
and a pair of snowy egrets.
There is a short boardwalk on the end to take you over the wetlands. You can keep walking past the boardwalk on a deteriorating old road.
We ran into a turtle who needed some help getting out of the road in the parking lot and gave him a lift.
+Sandy Ridge Trail
Another one mile round trip trail, out and back, made of boardwalks. The habitat is wet and beautiful.
There were SO many turtles, big and small, on this path.
Some were even vehicles for dragonflies.
Be sure to have a map handy, this road is not a loop, but a series of roads totaling 15 miles. The best time to see wildlife is dawn or dusk. We saw turkey and turkey vultures, the biggest raccoons ever, and most exciting of all – a black bear!
You may be luckier than me, to encounter the red wolf, active in the area.