Kayaking—A Paddler's Paradise
By Joe O’Grady of Coastal Kayak Touring Company

The Outer Banks of North Carolina offers some of the best coastal kayak touring options in the country. In one day you can kayak in six distinct ecosystems: fresh, salt and brackish marshes, maritime forest, swamps and the ocean. Each of these ecosystems offers different wildlife opportunities, and each system plays a vital role in the ecology of the Outer Banks. Most of the tours are conducted on the sheltered side of the Outer Banks where the waters remain calm and are typically shallow.

The marshes of the northern Outer Banks are fresh water because of the distance from the tidal influences of the Oregon inlet 30 plus miles away. The Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary and marshes further north extend across the state line of Virginia like a maze designed for kayakers. These marsh islands and creeks are inhabited by river otter and many nesting osprey.

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, located just south of the Oregon inlet on Hatteras Island, is the Outer Banks premier salt marsh for kayaking. Known as a “birder’s paradise,” 365 species of birds have been documented on this refuge. The waters are quite clear due to its close proximity to the tidal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, making this a great location for viewing sting ray and a wide variety of other aquatic life.

Ginguite Creek, which meanders through Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve, is one of the world’s only preserved maritime forests. More than 1,800 acres have been protected from development by efforts of the Nature Conservancy. This location also explores brackish marsh where freshwater and saltwater species mix. Since the protection of the Nature Conservancy, both bald eagle and osprey, two formerly endangered species, have begun nesting on this preserve.

The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a swamp tour. Don’t let the word swamp fool you; this is one of the most beautiful locations to kayak anywhere. The waters here are the coloration of dark tea from the tannic acids of the bald cypress, loblolly pine and Atlantic white cedar. Winding creeks lead to mirror image lakes where alligators can often be seen sunning on floating grass fields (slough grass) or a protruding cypress stump.

By choosing a reputable kayak touring company, you can relax and leave all the planning to them. The tours include basic instruction and all necessary kayak gear. In addition to providing instruction, your guide will also give you a narrative on local history and coastal ecology. A kayak tour on the Outer Banks will be the highlight of your vacation.


Kayaking Listings
Want more information? Read in-depth listings, view videos
and more on our mobile website!(CLICK HERE}

BACK COUNTRY SAFARI TOURS - 4X4, KAYAK AND SEGWAY TOURS
107-C Corolla Light Town Center
Corolla, NC
Phone: 252-453-0877
BACK COUNTRY SAFARI TOURS couponBACK COUNTRY SAFARI TOURS ad


COASTAL KAYAK TOURING COMPANY
1240 Duck Rd.
Kitty Hawk, NC
Phone: 252-441-3393
COASTAL KAYAK TOURING COMPANY couponCOASTAL KAYAK TOURING COMPANY ad


COROLLA JEEP ADVENTURES
Waterfront site located 1 mile south of Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
1070 Ocean Trail, Corolla, NC
Kayak Tour
Phone: 252-453-0077
COROLLA JEEP ADVENTURES coupon


THE COUNTRY GIRL and CRYSTAL DAWN HEAD BOAT
Pirate's Cove Yacht Club
2000 Sailfish Point
Manteo, NC
Phone: 252-473-5577
THE COUNTRY GIRL and CRYSTAL DAWN HEAD BOAT couponTHE COUNTRY GIRL and CRYSTAL DAWN HEAD BOAT ad


KITTY HAWK KAYAKS and KITTY HAWK KAYAKS & SURF SCHOOL
6150 North Croatan Highway
Kitty Hawk, NC
Phone: 252-261-0145
KITTY HAWK KAYAKS and KITTY HAWK KAYAKS & SURF SCHOOL couponKITTY HAWK KAYAKS and KITTY HAWK KAYAKS & SURF SCHOOL ad


KITTY HAWK KITES
Outer Banks of NC
Phone: 252- 441-4124
KITTY HAWK KITES couponKITTY HAWK KITES ad


KITTY HAWK KITES
KITEBOARDING RESORT

Located in Rodanthe on Hatteras Island.
Rodanthe, NC
Phone: 252-441-4124
KITTY HAWK KITES KITEBOARDING RESORT couponKITTY HAWK KITES KITEBOARDING RESORT ad


KITTY HAWK KITES - WHALEBONE WATERSPORTS
KITTY HAWK KITES - WHALEBONE WATERSPORTS couponKITTY HAWK KITES - WHALEBONE WATERSPORTS ad


KITTY HAWK WATERSPORTS
Soundfront, MP16.
6920 South Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC
Phone: 252-441-2756
KITTY HAWK WATERSPORTS couponKITTY HAWK WATERSPORTS ad


KITTY HAWK WATERSPORTS
OF COROLLA

Timbuck II, Soundfront.
798 Sunset Boulevard
Corolla, NC
Phone: 252-453-6900
KITTY HAWK WATERSPORTS OF COROLLA couponKITTY HAWK WATERSPORTS OF COROLLA ad


NORTH BEACH WATERSPORTS
Inn at Corolla Light
1066 Ocean Trail
Corolla, NC
Phone:252-455-9977
NORTH BEACH WATERSPORTS couponNORTH BEACH WATERSPORTS ad


NORTH DUCK WATERSPORTS
Northern Duck at the border of Sanderling. 1446 Duck Road.
Duck, NC
Phone: 252-261-4200
NORTH DUCK WATERSPORTS couponNORTH DUCK WATERSPORTS ad


OBX WATERWORKS (formerly-NAGS HEAD WATERWORKS)
7612 S Virginia Dare Trl,
Nags Head, NC
Phone: 252-441-0477
OBX WATERWORKS (formerly-NAGS HEAD WATERWORKS) couponOBX WATERWORKS (formerly-NAGS HEAD WATERWORKS) ad


PROMENADE WATERSPORTS
105 Promenade Lane
Kitty Hawk, NC
Phone: 252-261-4400
PROMENADE WATERSPORTS couponPROMENADE WATERSPORTS ad


SUNSET WATERSPORTS & CRUISES
1264 Duck Road,
(behind Fishbones Sunset Grille & Raw Bar).
Duck, NC
Phone: 252-261-1839
SUNSET WATERSPORTS & CRUISES couponSUNSET WATERSPORTS & CRUISES ad


WILD BILL'S WATERWORKS
6900 South Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC
Phone: 252-411-9453
WILD BILL'S WATERWORKS couponWILD BILL'S WATERWORKS ad


WILD HORSE SAFARI & 4WD KAYAK EXPEDITION at Back Bay Country Outfitters and Guides
Corolla Light Town Center.
Corolla, NC
Phone: 252-453-0877
WILD HORSE SAFARI & 4WD KAYAK EXPEDITION at Back Bay Country Outfitters and Guides coupon


north carolina's outer banks visitors guide mobile website