Wildlife Trails

Observation Tower

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge offers two wildlife trails that are open year round during daylight hours and are fully disabled-accessible. Neither pets nor bicycles are allowed on walking trails.


Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge offers two wildlife trails that are open year round during daylight hours and are fully disabled-accessible. 

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North Pond Wildlife Trail begins immediately behind the Visitor Center. The trail wanders along the top of the dike between North Pond and New Field Ponds. It's one-half-mile long, and universally accessible.
North Pond Wildlife Trail offers a boardwalk over our "turtle pond" (full of freshwater turtles... mostly sliders), three observation platforms, and one double decker tower. All the observation structures have interpretive panels and permanently mounted binocular spotting scopes. From the top of the tower, visitors can see the entire cross-section of a barrier island.

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Salt Flats Wildlife Trail is located at the north end of North Pond. Similar to North Pond Trail, Salt Flats Trail travels along the top of the dike between North Pond and the Salt Flats area.
Both trails provide excellent opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.  

A service road goes completely around North Pond. Energetic outdoor folks may choose to wander all the way around; however, the bugs are often bad and most of the wildlife observation opportunities are similar to those from North Pond Trail. The final 1.5 mile section of the "loop" is along NC Highway 12 and can prove to be treacherous and unsafe for walking. 

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See the Pea Island Tearsheet for a map of the service road and both trails.