Visitor Activities

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Recreation activities on wildlife refuges, commonly referred to as the "Big 6," include hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, photography, environmental education, and interpretation.  There is so much to see and do on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. We offer Guided Tours and Scheduled Programs.  Come on out and take a walk on the wild side.




  • Visitor Center


    The Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center (National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center) is located on Roanoke Island, at the hub of tourism to the popular Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The Visitor was designed to be a "gateway" for visitors to explore the eleven national wildlife refuges and Edenton National Fish Hatchery - all located within  "day-trip" distance of the Outer Banks.  The Center is free and open to the public seven days a week. 

  • Wildlife Drive


    Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has an incredible Wildlife Drive where black bear, wild turkeys, all kinds of birds of prey, waterfowl, and other wildlife may be seen.  Locals drive around after supper and compare notes about how many bears they have seen in different fields, sharing information with out-of-towners they meet.  There's even a chance to see an elusive red wolf!  

  • Creef Cut Wildlife Trail

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    Creef Cut is universally-accessible and a perfect spot to take a larger group.  It is approximately one-half mile and ends with a boardwalk loop that brings you back to the original asphalt trail for your return to the parking lot.  This trail lies between a freshwater marsh and a managed moist soil unit and provides excellent waterfowl viewing during the colder months. 

  • Interpretation


    On Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, you may have multiple guided tours any time of the day, simply by using your cell phone.  Where you have a state-of-the-art smart phone, a flip phone, or even a laptop in the car, you may watch and listen to a video at each stop, listen to the recorded text while viewing the photos, or simply read the text yourself from the webpage.  For more information, visit our ON-Cell site,  scan the first QR code you see, or call 1-252-564-3105

  • Sandy Ridge Wildlife Trail

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    Sandy Ridge Wildlife Trail, also a half-mile long, is more rustic and "wild".   Sandy Ridge Wildlife Trail is a one-way trail, so a mile total.  It parallels a portion of the Milltail Paddling Trails, so it's common to see and heard paddlers along the way.  The trail wanders among sphagnum moss beds and cypress knees and has approximately 1400 feet of boardwalk.  Prothonotary Warblers are commonly seen.  At the far end of the trail it's not unusual to hear red wolves howling, especially when the wind is calm, as the captive colony is located nearby. 

  • Habitat Geocaches


    Are you looking for adventure??  Instead of being a traditional geocache system, ours offers real treasure, instead of trinkets.  Learn about each habitat we have... and see it first-hand.  Download the ADVENTURE CARD and start exploring today!!!

  • Environmental Education

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    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge?  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!  We offer much for children and educators.  Contact us today!

  • Photography


     We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive! 

    On Alligator River Refuge Wildlife Drive is a great place to start.  

  • Hunting


     Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciate of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

  • Fishing


    For a great place to reconnect with a favorite childhood activity or to try it for the first time, make plans to fish at a national wildlife refuge soon. Find more information with our on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge.