Top 5 Kayaking Tours of the Outer Banks

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Photo courtesy of Coastal Kayak

If you enjoy exploring the Great Outdoors, there might not be a better place to visit than the Outer Banks in North Carolina. From beaches and birdwatching to kiteboarding and kayaking, the Outer Banks is the perfect destination for the adventure seeker. Ready to start planning your trip? Here is a list of the top 5 kayaking tours of the Outer Banks:

1. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: Known as the “birders paradise,” the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is located on Hatteras Island. In all, there have been over 300 species of birds sighted on this refuge which spans over 5,000 acres of land and 25,700 acres of water. On a tour of this refuge, riders navigate in and around many marsh islands and have the opportunity to view not only several species of birds, but also a variety of aquatic life including stingray, oysters, and hermit crabs. Riders on this tour can also dock their kayak on a sandy beach to take a swim.

2. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge: Located just 20 minutes from Nags Head, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge was referred by the Algonquin Indians as “pocosin” or “swamp on a hill” for its black waters. The refuge is home to both alligators and the world’s only wild population of red wolves which can sometimes be heard howling as riders navigate through the refuge. Other sightings on this tour may include otters, bobcats, black bears, and owls.

3. Peter Mashoes Creek at Alligator River: Explore some of the most interesting and complex marsh trails on the Outer Banks on this tour from Coastal Kayak. On this tour, a guide will lead kayakers through winding creeks to a deserted beach which is explored by foot. Afterwards, kayakers will either make their way through the marsh trails or head out into the open waters of the Albemarle Sound.

4. Maritime Forest and Marsh: Looking for a relaxing nature-filled tour? Take a trip up the Ginguite creek and explore the Kitty Hawks Woods Coastal Reserve, one of the last maritime forests remaining in the world. Kayakers travelling on the northern route will head into the heart of the forest where two formerly endangered species – the osprey and bald eagle – have begun to nest again. The southern route takes travelers from the maritime forest to Long Point and Kitty Hawk Bay to view various species of birds and river otters.

5. Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary: Travel through one of the Outer Banks least traveled and most sought after wildlife sanctuaries on a tour of the pristine marsh of the Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary. The tour begins with a 10 minute hike down the Audubon trail to the dock before a tour guide leads you through an intricate marsh maze.

For booking information, visit Rent It Today’s kayak and canoe rental listings here.

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