Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
Public Use Opportunities

Walter B Jones, Sr. Center for the Sounds, Columbia, NC

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Pungo Unit Regulations and Visitor Information

  Hunting for deer and small game is allowed on the refuge.  State season and bag limits apply in most areas, but there are regulations specific to the refuge as well, especially on the Pungo Unit. Contact the refuge for a hunting brochure or download from Pocosin Lakes Hunt brochure. There are also special Permit Hunting Opportunities throughout the area, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission page for details.

Fishing is allowed on the waters of the Pungo Unit and in New Lake from March 1 to November 1.  All other waters are open year round.  Fishing in canals is popular during spring and summer months.  Primary species caught include black fish, black crappie, several species of sunfish, and catfish.  Fishing on New Lake is permitted, but access is difficult.

Wildlife observation and photography opportunities available - tundra swans, snow geese, and ducks, as well as black bear and a variety of birds and animals.

Take a walk on the Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk located behind the visitor center in Columbia.  Opportunities for environmental education / outreach and refuge tours are available to groups upon request.

Students walking on the Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk

The Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk is a ¾-mile loop trail that meanders along the Scuppernong River through a cypress swamp and leads into downtown Columbia. The boardwalk introduces visitors to the beauty of the coastal sounds of eastern North Carolina. Local users, who enjoy the Charles Kuralt auto trail, or one of the area’s canoe trails, regard this boardwalk as a treasure. In addition to its scenic and interpretative features, the trail allows for a variety of recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, and wildlife observation. The boardwalk is one of the first projects initiated and completed by the Partnership for the Sounds in partnership with Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, The Conservation Fund, the Town of Columbia, and Tyrrell County.

On June 4,2005 in celebration of National Trails Day, Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced the designation of the Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk as one of 37 new National Recreation Trails. These new trails are located in 23 different states and are part of the National Trails System. There are now more than 900 National Recreation Trails that have been designated throughout the United States, totaling more than 10,000 miles.

National Recreation Trail designation is an honor given out to those existing trails that have been nominated and meet the requirements for connecting people to local resources and improving their quality of life. The national trail designation is part of a continuing campaign to promote community partnerships and to foster innovative ways to encourage physical fitness. The National Trails System Act of 1968 encourages the Secretary of the Interior to recognize existing community trails that qualify as additions to the National Trails System. The Act promotes enjoyment and appreciation of trails and greater public access. The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service administer the program in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trail Web site: www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails.


Last Updated: 5/8/13