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Plan Your Visit

Kayak-512X219From a multi-refuge Visitor Center full of exciting exhibits to the possibility of seeing charismatic mega-fauna like red wolves and black bear, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge offers year-round opportunities for learning and adventuring. Located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, this refuge is close... but oh, so far away!

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Visitor Center

100 Conservation Way, Manteo, NC 27954
Phone:  252-473-1131
The Visitor Center is open Monday - Saturday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm, and noon to 4:00 pm on Sundays.
alligatorriver@fws.gov 
Directions:  
From the intersection of US Hwy 64 Business and the Bypass on Roanoke Island, follow US Hwy 64 Business west through Manteo to the north end of the island, approximately 5 miles.  The National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center, which houses administrative Offices for Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, is on the left, just past the Lost Colony, Elizabethan Gardens, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

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Administrative Offices
100 Conservation Way, Manteo, NC 27954
Phone:  252-473-1131
The administrative offices are open Monday - Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, except federal holidays.
alligatorriver@fws.gov 
Directions: 
From the intersection of US Hwy 64 Business and the Bypass on Roanoke Island, follow US Hwy 64 Business west through Manteo to the north end of the island, approximately 5 miles.  The National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center, which houses administrative Offices for Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, is on the left, just past the Lost Colony, Elizabethan Gardens, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

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While You're Here, Don't Miss These Opportunities!

  • Don’t miss the National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center  on Roanoke Island and its state-of-the-art exhibits—all free!  
  • Then, venture to the Dare County mainland to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge’s popular Murphy Peterson Wildlife Drive where locals compete to see who can count the most black bear in one evening!  Wildlife abounds in these farming and moist soil management units.  
  •  If you are looking for adventure, a great way to explore the refuge is by canoe or kayak, using the Refuge’s 15+ miles of color-coded Paddling Trails. Explore the Milltail Creek Paddling Trails! 
  • There are two, half-mile, universally accessible wildlife trails for a leisurely stroll in a beautiful, quiet and secluded place. 
  •  During spring, summer, and fall, enrich your experience by joining us for a guided tour . Depending on the season, the refuge offers guided canoe tours, tram tours, and Red Wolf howlings, weekly to monthly.  We also have other guided programs including the Young Naturalist program for preschoolers and others all the way to adults.
  • For wildlife photographers, there is a great portable photoblind that is moved around from place to place and free for your use!

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset. Roads throughout the refuge are graveled. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour. Parking is allowed in designated parking areas and along road shoulders only. Visitors may not block any gate or road areas where emergency or maintenance vehicles may need access. No overnight parking is allowed on the refuge.

Hiking is allowed in all areas open to the public. Wildlife observation and photography are encouraged. Do not enter closed areas, these areas are closed for public safety or management needs, or both. Bicycling is allowed only on designated public access routes/roads. Bikes are not allowed on walking trails. Horseback riding is allowed on signed refuge public access routes open to motor vehicles.

Fishing is allowed as per state regulations.

Hunting is permitted on the refuge in accordance with all state and federal regulations. Hunters should consult the North Carolina state hunting regulations. Special refuge  hunting regulations also apply.

Firearms and other weapons are subject to state law. At all times, persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on the refuge must comply with all provisions of state law. Firearms may only be discharged in accordance with refuge hunting regulations, i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons.

Other prohibitions on the refuge are dogs off-leash; off-road vehicles; and collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts.

Page Photo Credits — Paddling on Alligator River Refuge, National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center by Susie Kowlok, Open signs by Bonnie Strawser, Sandy Ridge Wildlife Trail by Cindy Heffley
Last Updated: May 19, 2016
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