The Gateway Visitor Center serves as an introduction to the nine refuges in the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuge Complex, as well as two other refuges and a national fish hatchery in the area: Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and Edenton National Fish Hatchery. The nine Coastal North Carolina NWR Complex refuge websites can be found below:
Refuge Education Programs
The nine refuges in the Coastal North Carolina NWR Complex host a variety of guided tours and educational programs. Ride along on a tram tour, learn about red wolves and bears, paddle out into the waters of the refuges, or see thousands of wintering waterfowl!
Gateway Visitor Center
Through interactive exhibits, audio-visual programs, and even a virtual airplane ride, visitors may experience a field trip to each refuge with hopes to entice them to visit these special places. See how the Outer Banks will change as the sea level rises. Sit for a spell in the old Dare Forest Supply Store and experience life through a short multi-sensory film, when Buffalo City was a bustling logging and moonshining town! In this small theater you will also have an opportunity to watch 2 other nature and area-related films. In the main lobby, try to find 37 critters hiding in the pocosin diorama. Peek into a red wolf den. Have a picture taken of you as a wildlands firefighter! A short interpreted nature trail wanders through the woods behind the center.
The center is staffed by volunteers. Our non-profit friends group, Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society, operates Wild Things, a gift shop that offers innovative wildlife-related gift items such as nature identification guides, children's toys and books, jewelry, apparel and other items to make your visit both enjoyable and memorable. All proceeds benefit refuge programs.
The Gateway Visitor Center depends on dedicated volunteers to provide information, answer questions, and assist with guided programs. There are many opportunities at Gateway and refuges throughout the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex for different kinds of volunteers, as well as internships and partnerships.