Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (35.699632, -76.563220)
Canoe Access Fishing Wheelchair Accessible Park Office Bathrooms

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Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

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Quick Facts

Refuge Map: .jpg, .pdf
Trail Map: .jpg, .pdf
Counties: Hyde, Tyrrell, Washington
Acres: 110,106
Trails: 1.25 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Park Hours: Sunrise - Sunset
Office Hours:
10 AM - 4 PM, Tues - Sat

Along with nearby Alligator River and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuges, this refuge is an important wintering ground for migratory birds, and one of the best places in North Carolina for wildlife viewing. There are about 80 miles of road and 1.25 miles of hiking trails open to the public to explore. While there are no actual facilities in the refuge (the visitor center is about an hour east of the refuge), there is a convenient bathroom at the Pettigrew State Park - Pocosin Natural Area access located at the intersection of Shore Drive and Evans Road at the southeastern edge of Lake Phelps. Hunting is allowed at Pocosin Lakes in certain areas, so make sure to wear bright colors during the hunting season.


Duck Pen Wildlife Trail (0.5 mile, easy)
This half mile trail leads to an observation/photo blind at Pungo Lake.

Scuppernong River Interpretive Boardwalk (0.75 mile, easy)
This wheelchair-accessible boardwalk winds through a cypress swamp along the Scuppernong River located at the park headquarters, Center for the Sounds, in Columbia.
This refuge is an important winter home for thousands of migratory swans, geese, and ducks. Also found here are red wolf, black bear, bobcat, white-tailed deer, coyote, red fox, shrew, bat, river otter, mink, bald eagle, owl, red-tailed hawk, osprey, northern harrier, merlin, American kestrel, peregrine falcon, heron, egret, ibis, kingfisher, northern bobwhite, hummingbird, woodpecker, American coot, rail, red-winged blackbird, alligator, turtle, snake, frog, salamander, dwarf mudpuppy, black fish, black crappie, sunfish, and catfish.

Plant Life
Common plant species include Atlantic white cedar, pond pine, sweetgum, red maple, sycamore, muscadine, Virginia creeper, pitcher plants, phragmites, pickerel weed, sun dews, wax myrtle, and low bush cranberries.

Center for the Sounds, Lake Phelps, New Lake, Pungo Lake

External Links
Official Site
Partnership for the Sounds
Friends of Pocosin Lakes
National Recreation Trails
North Carolina Weekend's Video (Bear Tours!)


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