Outer Banks Wildlife Refuges and Programs

The rolling sand dunes, expansive marshland and picturesque seashore of the Outer Banks are home to a diverse group of native plants and wildlife. Fortunately state and national parks, preserves and refuges protect much of the area. Between refuges in the marsh and nationally protected seashore, you can experience a form of the Outer Banks that is untouched by commercialism and houses. Visiting Outer Banks wildlife refuges and parks is a great activity to enjoy during your vacation. Climb to the top of Jockey’s Ridge State Park for a panoramic view of the sound and ocean. Enjoy one of the paddle trails in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge where you might see a black bear or an endangered red wolf. Visit Portsmouth Island to check out the abandoned village or relax on the spacious beach. Alternate meandering through downtown Manteo with exploring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center in Northern Roanoke Island where you can enjoy interactive exhibits and learn from the different programs offered. Whatever type of terrain you prefer to experience, Outer Banks wildlife refuges and the programs they offer are available to get the best fit for you. Browse through the listings below to see all of the different wildlife refuges on the Outer Banks.


Outer Banks Attractions by Area

Corolla | Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills & Nags Head
Roanoke Island & Manteo | Hatteras Island | Ocracoke Island

Outer Banks Attractions by Category

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Outer Banks Wildlife Refuges & Programs
Milltail Road, off U.S. Highway 64, Manteo
(252) 473-1131

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge on the mainland portion of Dare and Hyde counties. It was established in 1984 to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type, the pocosin, and its associated wildlife species. Pocosin is a Native American word meaning ‘‘swamp-on-a-hill’’ and is characterized by poorly drained soils high in organic material. The... read more

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Museum

Outer Banks Wildlife Refuges & Programs
520 Old Stoney Road, Suite B, Corolla
(252) 453-8002

Corolla Wild Horse Fund's offices, museum store and education center are now located at 520B Old Stoney Road in the Ocean Club Centre, the same complex as Corolla’s Visitors Center and the ABC Store. This is where the Corolla Wild Horse Fund shares the fascinating history and legacy of the Banker strain of Colonial Spanish Mustangs. Descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought to the Outer Banks nearly... read more

Corolla Wild Horse Fund's offices, museum store and education center are now located at 520B... read more

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

Outer Banks Wildlife Refuges & Programs
374 Airport Road, Manteo
(252) 475-2300
(800) 832-3474 x4

The North Carolina Aquarium remains one of the most popular attractions on the Outer Banks, and it got a fantastic renovation that was completed in the summer of 2016. Yes, it's perfect for a rainy day, but you will also appreciate the cool, quiet environment when you've had enough of the sun. Just stepping into the aquarium’s lobby is like diving into the ocean’s depths.... read more

The North Carolina Aquarium remains one of the most popular attractions on the Outer Banks,... read more