Alligator River Refuge road map with closure roads highlighted in yellow
Temporary Road Closures to Vehicles

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge announces temporary road closures of Bay & Cypress roads (highlighted in yellow on the map). The roads will be closed to traffic starting Friday, January 6, 2023 and will stay closed until staff have time to fix the major holes in the dirt roads.

Alligator River NWR is announcing temporary closures

Alligator River NWR is announcing temporary closures for periods from December 17, 2022 through February 28, 2023. The Service will close Link Road at the intersection with Long Curve Road, Grouse Road at the intersection with Long Curve Road, and Bear Road at the intersection with Borrow Pit Road on December 17, 2022. Gates will be installed at the three locations, and the roads will be closed to all traffic, including foot traffic. The road closures will also result in a closure of the Lower Creef Unit to small game hunting. However, the majority of the Refuge is currently open to hunting, and all other areas remain open. 

The closures are necessary to give the Milltail pack of Red Wolves an opportunity to utilize this additional area similar to the use of the Twiford and Upper Creef Units, which close to all public entry beginning November 1.  Service staff have been monitoring high visitation pressure on Link Road, Gadwall Road, and Bear Road over the past year. Staff have identified instances of Red Wolves becoming habituated or displaying a lack of fear of people as a result of vehicles remaining in an area for long periods of time, people saturating an area outside of their vehicles for long periods of time, and people accidentally or intentionally leaving food that attracts several wildlife species.  

Staff have adapted over the year and implemented a number of measures to minimize human-wildlife interactions to keep the area open to visitors for as long as possible. The next few months are critical months for the Milltail pack as we approach breeding and denning season. The closures will protect the ability of the breeding pair to move as needed and prepare for a new litter. Alligator River NWR may open, and then close, the roads intermittently over the next few months based on Red Wolf activity and behavior. Visitors will still be able to travel the Wildlife Drive, the entirety of Long Curve Road, and Borrow Pit Road, as well as visit the remainder of the Refuge roads open at this time of year. Additionally, the Service has reopened Chip Road to vehicle traffic. 

Red Wolf Recovery Program staff will be continually monitoring red wolf activity and occasionally trapping in the area of the closures throughout this time period. The most reliable source for current information about red wolves is the Red Wolf Recovery Program website, https://www.fws.gov/project/red-wolf-recovery-program

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Albemarle Peninsula in eastern North Carolina. The refuge was established in 1984 to protect the rare pocosin wetlands and their associated wildlife. Pocosin wetlands grow on thick layers of peat and have stunted, shrubby vegetation. The refuge also protects swamp forest and is fringed with marsh. The vast protected area supports large populations of black bear, wintering waterfowl, river otter, and other wildlife species. In addition, the refuge is one of the only places in the world where you may see endangered red wolves in the wild.

Visit Us

From 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. The refuge is open year-round during daylight hours. We have great paddling trails, a wildlife drive, and two walking trails where you can learn about refuge wildlife and habitats.

 Maps and Brochures

Things to Do

  • Don’t miss the National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center on Roanoke Island and its state-of-the-art exhibits—all free! 
  • Venture to the Dare County mainland to the 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 the farming and moist soil management units along the Wildlife Drive.
  • Want to take a leisurely stroll? There are two half-mile, universally accessible wildlife trails in beautiful, quiet and secluded places. 
  • 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.
  • Enrich your experience by joining us for a guided interpretive program or tour. Ride on our open-air tram or learn about bears and other wildlife on the refuge!
  • For wildlife photographers, there are great photographic opportunities if you have patience and good equipment! 
  • Hunting and fishing are allowed on the refuge with restrictions.

Location and Contact Information

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.

      Our Species

      The American alligator is a large, semi-aquatic, armored reptile that is related to crocodiles. Their body alone ranges from 6 - 14 feet long. Almost black in color, the it has prominent eyes and nostrils with coarse scales over the entire body. It has a large, long head with visible upper teeth...

      FWS Focus

      As their name suggests, red wolves are known for the characteristic reddish color of their fur most apparent behind the ears and along the neck and legs, but are mostly brown and buff colored with some black along their backs. Intermediate in size to gray wolves and coyotes, the average adult...

      FWS Focus

      Our Library

      Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Hunting Regulations & Permit

      All general refuge regulations apply, unless specifically addressed in this leaflet. Restrictions and designations on the map in this leaflet also apply.