Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Manteo

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#11 of 26 in Things to do in Manteo
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a 152000acre National Wildlife Refuge located in eastern North Carolina along the Atlantic Coast. It was established on March 14, 1984, to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type—the pocosin—and its associated wildlife species.The refuge attracts visitors worldwide for its red wolf (Canis rufus) howling programs and is also home to the Dare County Bombing Range.DescriptionThe Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is composed of 152,000 acres lying in the mainland portions of Dare and Hyde Counties, North Carolina. It is roughly 28 miles from north to south and 15 miles from east to west and lies in North Carolina's Coastal Plain. It is bordered on the west by the Alligator River and the Intracoastal Waterway, which is crossed by the 2.8 mile Lindsay C. Warren bridge; on the north by Albemarle Sound; on the east by Croatan and Pamlico Sounds; and on the south by Long Shoal River and corporate farmland. The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is administered as a part of the complex. The Alligator River Manager supervises the Mackay Island, Currituck, and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Managers.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
217 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The refuge offers a lot to see if you take the time to do so. There are plenty of bears, usually best observed in local fields (permission needed). Alligators seem to be growing in numbers. Some red w...  more »
  • A great scenic drive on a rainy morning. We actually saw bears in the bean fields. Very cool! TripAdvisor's directions are not accurate. Go to the Nature Center first for directions of where to go.  more »
  • We went for the bears and we were not disappointed! Our first morning we saw fifteen in just a couple hours along with many types of birds and a few deer. But the bears were the stars of the show! We ...  more »
Google
  • Such a beautiful area, stunning! However please be very cautious driving through here at night. It's PITCH BLACK. We came upon a motorist that had hit a black bear, and we didn't see the bear in the road until we had also ran over it as well. A 400-500 pound black bear! It was really scary. We ended up giving the guys who hit it a ride back into Manteo because their truck was so badly damaged and they had no cell phone service out there and it was dark and scary! We also passed what we think was a red wolf on the side of the road. My family had been going to the NC mountains for 10+ years and every time I hope to see a black bear. It's so unfortunate that I finally did, but in the worst way. :( No one was hurt thankfully (except the poor bear). I knew there were bears on the coast but I honestly never expected to encounter one! Bears + Beach just isn't something you expect. So yes, visit this wonderful area of beauty and nature but do so when you can drive home before sunset and drive carefully and slowly. We went the speed limit and had SO many people pass us on the two lane road. I've included a photo of a beautiful old shack that we saw when we stopped (during the day) to help a turtle safely cross the road.

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