Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
September 1, 2006
Polish up those paddles! Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival Takes to the Water
Photo by Klaus Ritter
The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival, a six-day celebration of experiences that are considered to be the true treasures of the Outer Banks region of North Carolina , is set for Nov. 7 through Nov. 12. Birding, natural history, decoy carving, photography and paddling are just some of the events planned for the festival which, this year, spans Veteran's Day weekend.
Northeastern North Carolina offers some of the country's best paddling for canoe and kayak enthusiasts. From tannin-fed cypress swamps to endless marsh mazes, it is possible to paddle the region for a lifetime yet still study charts at night, discovering unexplored areas.
Registration currently is open for an assortment of water trips escorted by leaders who are familiar with the various areas. Physical demands range from open water with wind exposure, to short distances with excellent wind protection.
Seven different paddling trips are planned and include the Kitty Hawk Bay Sunset Kayak Tour that will allow participants to enjoy a classic Carolina sunset over the bay while navigating through tall cord grass fields and listening for the mysterious sounds of the night marsh.
For the adventurous, The Maze is the perfect choice. Slip silently through the labyrinth of marsh creeks and search for rails, ibis, herons, egrets, raccoons, and other salt marsh wildlife.
The Backcountry Expedition combines "off-road" four-wheel-drive and kayaking into an eco-tour that explores 30 miles of beach and backcountry lanes by SUV to paddle the northern Currituck waterways from inside the Spanish Mustang Reserve. Trained naturalists discuss local ecology, history and shore life.
Ocracoke Island Kayak Tour is a treat for those who want to see the haunts of Blackbeard while enjoying the beauty of this unique island. Take a ferry to quaint Ocracoke Village and then explore the marshy creeks and flats of Springer's Point in search of wildlife and history.
Those hungering for a little mystery and maybe a touch of romance will enjoy the Moonlight Refuge Kayak Tour. Navigate cypress-lined creeks and grass covered lakes by the light of the full moon. This unique tour of the waterways on the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is only available during years when the full moon coincides with the festival!
Upper Miltail Creek Canoe Trip allows canoeists to explore the narrow, winding creek through the heart of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Sheltered paddling gives participants a close look at the wildlife that calls the Refuge home, including Pileated Woodpeckers, river otter, and a variety of reptiles and amphibians.
And the Scuppernong River Canoe Trip, led by a ranger from Pettigrew State Park , allows participants the opportunity to learn about the features of this unique water body that is home to a variety of rare species, including Atlantic white cedar and Red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Trip leaders for the tours include staff from Ride the Wind Surf and Kayak, Back Country Outfitters, Kitty Hawk Sports, Pettigrew State Park , Kitty Hawk Kites, Coastal Kayak and US Fish and Wildlife Service.To learn more about the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival call 252-441-8144 or go to www.wingsoverwater.org.