Watching and photographing wildlife is popular on the refuge. Waterfowl observation (during the winter) and bear watching (nearly year-round) are the most popular, but other birds and wildlife are plentiful on Pungo as well. Walking and hiking is permitted anywhere on the refuge unless the area is posted as closed. Bicycling is allowed on all established roads and trails designated as open to the public. In addition, there are opportunities for deer and feral hog hunting and fishing in the many canals on the refuge. The refuge offers education programs and tours, as well as opportunities for school and youth group education programs. Boating is allowed on the refuge on Alligator and Scuppernong Rivers, Frying Pan Lake, and on New Lake from February through November. Horseback riding is only allowed with a Special Use Permit (contact the refuge for details).
When on the refuge, keep safety in mind at all times. It’s important to remember that no matter how cute or calm an animal might appear one minute, things can change instantly. Do not approach or feed wildlife, and do not allow wildlife to approach in close proximity. Keep safe distances from female wildlife and their offspring.
Please observe all signage and do not enter any areas marked closed. Sometimes, roads have to be temporarily closed because they become impassable. Please contact our offices to receive the most up-to-date information on road closures for the Pungo Unit. In addition, some roads have posted weight limits and cannot support vehicles heavier than a typical pickup truck or standard SUV. Be aware of road signs indicating weight limits and closures. During the deer hunting season, all visitors must wear orange if away from their vehicles.