Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge isn’t exactly on the Outer Banks but it’s not that far away either, and for anyone looking to learn about the area’s natural history it is worth the trip across the Roanoke Sound.
Created 30 years ago, it’s one of the largest wildlife refuges on the East Coast. It consists of 154,000 acres of marsh, swamp, pocosin, forest and a bombing range-although the range is actually 47,000 acres surrounded by the refuge and not considered part of it.
There is a remarkable diversity of life here. It is the northern reach of the American alligator, although the alligators in this region tend to be smaller than their deep south cousins. This is not without exceptions. This summer a driver struck and killed a 13’ bull alligator that was crossing US 64 at night.