Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Manteo

4.3
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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Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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228 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Driving from Raleigh to ARNWR. Takes about 3 hours. Stopped at Pocosin Refuge Visitor center and collected maps/information. Took the trail at Sandy Ridge - was rather quiet but being in the open area...  more »
  • The ladies there are very informative and friendly. They know the area well. We did not see any alligators. We saw a rattlesnake, several black bear and turtles. You need to be patient, and travel slo...  more »
  • We made several trips through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge this year. It was amazing, we saw numerous bears, a bald eagle,osprey,bobcat and Northern Harrier Hawk. I highly recommend yo...  more »
Google
  • I cannot believe that I have been visiting the Outer Banks for so many years and had no idea that this place existed! It is truly magical. This Refuge is home to the highest concentration of black bears on the east coast and it is only about a 20 drive from Nags Head. It is also home to quite a few alligators, but I have only seen one. Alligator River is definitely worth the visit. It is free and there are not any employees/rangers on site to give you any information, but there are maps available near the entrance. How many bears you see definitely depends on the time of year you visit and the time of day. If you go in the middle of the day, chances are you won’t see much of anything, but if you go during the summer, right as its starting to get dark you will be amazed by how many you see. It’s unbelievable! This is a place you definitely have to see, you will not be disappointed!
  • 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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