Explore Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Manteo

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a unique wetland habitat where you can see and experience all types of wildlife located here on the Outer Banks. Located on Roanoke Island is where you’ll find this great refuge that is a little over 152,000 acres of reserved & protected wetlands.  Established on March 14th, 1984 this is one of the largest wildlife refuges located on the coast of North Carolina and is home to waterfowl & migratory birds, numerous endangered species, black bears, and other diverse wildlife. We at Joe Lamb Jr. & Associate wanted to share with you a few things to know before heading over to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge to explore it. 

Why a Wildlife Refuge?

Explore Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Manteo

Many people have questioned why there was a need for a wildlife refuge on the Outer Banks, and the answer is simple, to protect not only the wetlands but the wildlife too. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge was set up to preserve the many endangered species known to the area, such as the American alligator, red wolf, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. While the red wolves have recently been re-established in the area, they are still endangered. Some of the documented efforts made during this re-establishment is increasing the total count of red wolves in 2011 from 89 to roughly a new population total of 130, current day numbers. To keep accurate data on the re-establishment project there are 10 known red wolves that are on active radio collars to keep up with any pack changes. How cool is that?! The mountains aren’t the only place where you’ll see a black bear, as it’s common to see them on the coast of North Carolina. Protecting all the wildlife, whether they are native to the area or they’ve migrated to the OBX, this National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place for them.

Visiting the National Wildlife Refuge

On regular occasions, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge’s Visitor Center would be open. Still, due to the safety measures that have been put into place, it is closed at the moment. However, the visitor center is typically open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday – Saturday and 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sundays. It is free to explore the visitor center, and it has many different exhibits that you may not get to see elsewhere. However, the land is open for all to explore as there are many various activities you can do there.

Activities You Can Do

Explore Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Manteo

If you’re looking for some fun things to do while you’re at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, there are plenty of available items. Wildlife Drive is where you will find the black bear, waterfowl and you may get to see the red wolves. Two trails are open for you to explore and hike for all the outdoor junkies in your group. If you’re looking for more adventure, then maybe Habitat Geocaching is what you and the kids can do. Be sure to bring your camera as you can capture the beauty of the wildlife at the refuge.

After exploring the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, head back to your Outer Banks vacation rental as you relax. We look forward to seeing you and your family on your next visit to stay with us and explore the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge!

Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates is one of the most trusted vacation rental managers in the local area by growing into a market leader in the Vacation Rental and Sales Industry. Joe Lamb Jr. and his family have played a vital and intricate role in the Outer Banks Community for decades. 

Over the past 50+ years, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates have worked diligently to help promote the Outer Banks for the amazing beach and family vacation destination that it is, helping to increase tourism in the area and grow our beautiful community.

Black Bear Central at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

A black bear resting at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.
A black bear resting at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Every once in a while we’ll get a notice or something will come across our desk that is a reminder of just how remarkable the world of the Outer Banks is.

In this case, it’s not quite the Outer Banks, but awfully close. Right next door at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

The Refuge, it seems, has one of the largest, if not the largest, concentrations of black bear on the East Coast. Perhaps one of the largest populations to be found anywhere.

For those of us who have driven on US 64 as it passes through East Lake, which borders ARNWR, it’s probably not much of a surprise hearing this. It’s not as though a bear is seen every day, but it is not that rare either. Same for US 264 through Stumpy Point.

For that matter, anyone who has hiked, kayaked, biked or spent any time in the Reserve, seeing a black bear is a part of the experience.

By and large the bears want nothing whatsoever to do with humans, so when they do see one of us, they saunter off into the brush or woods. To our civilized eyes they look kind of cute, and certainly harmless, but the fact is they are wild animals weighing between 200-400 pounds with a lot of muscle. 

About the only time they will get upset or approach humans is if there is interaction with cubs. Mama bears tend to think of that as a threat.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is 152,000 acre refuge that is for the most part on mainland Dare County. There are hiking and biking trails in the refuge as well as extensive areas for kayaking. 

It’s name is a reference to the northern most reach of the alligator, so yes, there are alligators that live there, as well as an extraordinary diversity of birds and an active breeding program for the endangered red wolf.

The Outer Banks is a place of many surprises. A visit to this remarkable strip of sand is better with a stay at a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home.

OBX-Lots To Do This Summer

Scene from last year's BrewFest.
Scene from last year’s BrewFest.

Now that summer is here, there is almost too much to do on the Outer Banks. This is Outer Banks Craft Beer Week culminating in the OBX BrewFest on Sunday. The following weekend its the Rogallo Kite Festival on Jockey’s Ridge.

There’s Kid’s Days at almost all of the Kitty Hawk Kites stores—weekly events, they’re usually on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Town of Duck has a full schedule of happenings on its Town Green. This Saturday it’s Dare Days at Manteo—which is a wonderful family celebration.

All of that is great stuff to do, but here at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates. we started thinking about what are some of the lesser known things to do on the Outer Banks—things that maybe won’t attract a huge crowd but might create a lasting memory. There’s a lot of them, so we can’t possibly list them all, but here’s a list to start things going.

Most of these are recurring events, so if this coming Wednesday isn’t convenient for a red wolf howling, there’s always the following Wednesday.

Howling Wolf-Red Wolf Howling

June – August, Wednesdays – 7:30-9:00pm

Creef Cut Wildlife Trail

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Red Wolf Recovery Program offer you the opportunity to learn more about red wolves at the only place in the world where they still exist in the wild! Meet at the designated time at the parking lot for a chance to hear the harmonious howl of this endangered species.

Summer Howlings cost $7 per person (bring cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard).

Children 12 and under are FREE!

Bring a flashlight and insect repellent.

Dress for the weather; howling will occur except with lightning, heavy rain, or wind or impassable roads. Decision to cancel will be made at least 1.5 hours prior to the scheduled program.

Do NOT bring pets.

Do Bring insect repellant

Questions: Call 252-216-9464.

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Crabbing/Fishing Rodeo

June 11, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

For three hours once a year, North Pond at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public to allow fishing and crabbing. All Federal, State and local crabbing and fishing regulations apply. Round up them dawgies!  Come and enjoy this unique opportunity.  You access North Pond from the Visitor Center and Visitor Center parking lot.

Faire Days Summer Festival Series 2016

Scarborough Faire, Duck

Every Wednesday, All Summer Long, June 8 – August 31, 1:30-5:00 pm

• Sound System Music – 1:30-3:00pm

• Live Music – 3:00-5:00pm

• Virtual Fishing – with Capt Dan Banks …1:30-5:00pm

• Magician – fun with The Impossible Chris … 2:00-5:00pm

• Petting Zoo & Pony Rides – with Little-Zoo-To-You … 1:30-4:00pm

• Paint a Wooden Mustang – with Wild Horse Museum Store … 1:30-5:00pm

• Face Painting – with Bonnie Collins … 1:30-5:00pm

• Glitter Tattoo Table – with Luxury … 2:00-5:00pm

• Author Book Signings – with Island Bookstore … 1:30-4:00pm

• DIY Sun Catchers – with Urban Cottage … 2:00-5:00pm

• Color Your Own Tiki Mask – with The Island Attic … 1:30-5:00pm

• Paint a Duck – with Simply Scarborough … 1:30-5:00pm

• DIY Bead Jewelry & Letters  – with Ruff Haus … 1:30-5:00pm

• Product Demos & Tastings – 1:30-5:00pm

• Assorted Games/Prizes/Crafts – 1:30-5:00pm

• Food/Wine/Shopping Specials – 1:30-5:00pm

15th Annual Under the Oaks Arts Festival

Whalehead Club, Corolla

June 21 – 22, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Enjoy this annual outdoor art show on the waterfront grounds of Historic Corolla Park at the Whalehead Club in Historic Corolla.  This festival features the unique talents of quality artists with a wide variety of media plus local food concessions, and art auction.  Admission is FREE!  Event runs 10am-5-pm June 21 and 10am-6pm June 22, 2016.