Cedar Island North Carolina

National Wildlife Refuge

With the temperature approaching 70 degrees I decided to make the drive to Cedar Island for a bit of exploration. I’ve long been curious about the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge. There are no official hiking trails in the refuge but you are allowed to hike the access roads. I took a short hike down a fire road where I observed the tracks of Whitetail Deer, Black Bear and various small mammals. I’ll have to return for a longer exploration in the near future.

To The Beach

After returning to my vehicle I headed to the beach area next to the NC Ferry Terminal. The ferry carries people and their cars across the Pamlico Sound to picturesque Ocracoke Island, the gateway to the Outer Banks. I had hoped I might get a glimpse of some of the wild horses that live at Cedar Island, or perhaps some of the “Sea Cows,” the feral herd of cattle calling the island their home. Unfortunately none were within my view so I opted to snap a few photos of the Kill Deer feeding along the shore.

Lola Road

After leaving the beach I headed for a drive down Lola Road for a few sunset photos. The road dead ends at a little boat ramp maintained by the Wildlife Refuge. It looks out over the water and some marsh land. The water in front of me was flat calm, mirror-like, reflecting the clouds on the surface perfectly.


A Long Leaf pine tree leans over an access road in the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge on Cedar Island in Eastern North Carolina. This remote island is probably best known for the NC Ferry that runs to Ocracoke Island and back. Surrounded by the waters of the Pamlico Sound it is the eastern most part of the Crystal Coast. The refuge includes wetlands and ine forest. Inhabitants of these woodlands includes Whitetail Deer, Black Bear, Oppossum, Raccoon and Gray Squirrel.
Here a Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus, is seen feeding along the beach at the east end of Cedar Island, North Carolina. These birds, a large member of the plover family, are common in all of North America. Although classified as a coastal shore bird, it is not unusual to find them in fields throughout the middle of the US. Cedar Island is located at the extreme eastern end of Carteret County, aka the Crystal Coast. It is best known for the NC Ferry Terminal that transports peole to and from Ocracoke Island. The local community has a long commercial fishing tradition and is part of an area known as the Downeast. It is also the home of the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Evening clouds are reflected off the calm waters of the Pamlico Sound along the shore of Cedar Island, North Carolina. Small sand banks can be seen in the distance. There is a gentle ripple in the water next to the shore. This photograph was made next to the boat ramp at the end of Lola Road. Cedar Island is located in Carteret County and is at the eastern end of the Crystal Coast. The image is a wonderful reresentation of the calm beauty of life on this remote downeast island.
In the venacular of the local fishermen the sound was “slick cam” this March evening. This is a view at the end of Lola Road at Cedar Island, North Carolina. Known as “downeast Carteret County,” the island is home to a NC Ferry terminal. Ferries take people and their cars across the Pamlico Sound to Ocracolke.

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This entry was posted in Avian Photography, General Photography, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Uncategorized.


  1. Rebecca Herranen March 7, 2022 at 10:39 am #

    Reminds me of some of our walks through Florida Wildlife Reserves, similar trees. Only in Florida there is swamp all around and that means gators are possible, even cougars. I never actually felt totally relaxed walking around. Not sure I would feel relaxed when I knew bears had been in the area recently.

    I absolutely love you image of the clouds reflecting on the calm water. Very relaxing.

  2. Louis Dallara March 7, 2022 at 11:01 am #

    Bob; Great post and beautiful images that inspire.

  3. Dorothy Berry-Lound March 7, 2022 at 11:09 am #

    Oh Bob, this made me sigh! What a wonderful place, just the sort of area I would love. I was confused that a Kill Deer was a bird LOL. I have not come across that before. Great post and wonderful images as usual.

  4. Steve Heap March 7, 2022 at 11:45 am #

    Lovely location! Those killdeers are great little birds. We used to have a pair that nested in the gravel by the road to my home in Northern Virginia each year. I got some shots of the chicks hatching one year.

  5. admin March 8, 2022 at 11:13 pm #

    Rebecca. That forest area is bordered by salt marsh and sound. We definitely have gators in eastern NC, though rarely seen in the salt wetlands. NC had a history of Panthers, aka Cougars but *supposedly* there aren’t any around anymore. Local rumor says otherwise! Black Bears rarely cause people any problems and the bears around here are extremely shy. I spend a lot of time in wild areas and have only seen one bear while hiking and had one mama bear and cubs cross a forest road in front of me I was driving on. Add in a couple of roadkills and that sums it up for local bear encounters. I do know some areas a couple hours north where bear sightings are much more common.

    Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

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