The refuge does not have a developed environmental education program. Staff has taken groups out on the refuge to teach them about the marsh ecosystem and the wildlife that inhabit the marsh. There are currently about 100 students that use the refuge annually. Organized tours and programs are available upon request. If you are interested please contact the refuge office for more information.
In addition, the refuge has developed a 0.3-mile-long interpretive trail, located off the south side of North Carolina Highway 615. At the head of the trail is an interpretive kiosk. There are also interpretative kiosks at the wildlife observation platform on the north side of North Carolina Highway 615 and along Knotts Island Road on the refuge. The wildlife observation platform and kiosk are part of the Kuralt Trail system that connects the eleven national wildlife refuges in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.
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Birders flock to Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge in search of the secretive King Rail. This bird is elusive and prefers very specific wetlands habitat.