93. Raw Beauty… Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful way to spend the day enjoying the outdoors and learning about local wildlife.  The Refuge offers the whole family opportunities to enjoy the raw beauty of an ecosystem teaming with wildlife. It is a 13 mile strip of beach from Oregon Inlet south that contains over 365 species of birds, various reptiles, sea turtles and much more.  Visitors to the Refuge enjoy canoeing and kayaking, beach combing, fishing, nature photography, and many other interesting activities.

If you are interested in birds, Pea Island is considered a “Birder’s Paradise”.  Because the Refuge is midway on the Atlantic Flyaway, birders from near and far gather here to seek out migratory and local birds like ducks, geese, swans, wading birds, shore birds, and raptors.  This is also a wonderful place to find endangered species such as peregrine falcons and piping plovers.

The refuge contains two hiking trails which stretch past a turtle pond and connect three observation platforms and a tower where you can observe wildlife from mounted binocular spotting scopes. Both trails are universally accessible and provide excellent opportunities for wildlife photography.

Visitors can paddle canoes and kayaks in the ocean or inland waters to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in the wild. Canoe tours are offered in the warmer months, and the guides will help bring a depth of understanding of the pristine refuge.