In the mid-Atlantic Coastal plain of Virginia and North Carolina, mysterious, dark backwater rivers flow into estuarine sounds contained by the Outer Banks. Here, eleven national wildlife refuges and a national fish hatchery are working to conserve fish, wildlife, plants and their native habitats. The Charles Kuralt Trail has been established to help people enjoy these wildlands and to recognize the broadcast journalist who shared the delights and wonders of out-of-the-way places like these.
This region is called the Roanoke, Tar, Neuse, Cape Fear Ecosystem; named for the rivers which flow into the Albemarle, Currituck, and Pamlico Sounds. The rivers and sea meet to create an incredibly productive and important place for fish and wildlife. Some of the wildest lands in the mid-Atlantic are found within these refuges.
Shaun Kane of Knotts Island
|Each of these national wildlife refuges and the hatchery have established a Kuralt site to provide you with recreational opportunities. The roads are marked with signs to help you find the sites. There's no particular route for the trail - plan your travels according to your time, interest, and what each season may offer. Springtime is great for experiencing songbird migration when the forests are filled with song. Each fall brings a spectacular sight as thousands of ducks, geese, and swans gather around the lakes and sounds.
At each Kuralt site you will encounter a special opportunity to experience nature. You can enjoy nature trails on footpaths and boardwalks. Some sites have observation platforms to overlook scenic vistas and wildlife. Take to the back roads on refuge wildlife auto tour routes. You'll find more information at a red-roofed kiosk at each stop along the Kuralt trail. You may want to purchase an audio tour recording to enjoy and learn more about the region and the plants and animals that the national wildlife refuges are working to protect.
You'll also find other interesting places to visit along the Kuralt trail - cultural and natural attractions such as museums, the North Carolina Aquarium, Partnership for the Sounds education centers, and national, state and local parks.
njoy your ramblings on the refuge road!
Explore the northern refuges
Explore the southern refuges