Portsmouth Island from Ocracoke

Ocracoke, North Carolina

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
5 out of 5
This is one of America’s few remaining undeveloped barrier islands. Covered by grasslands, bordered by dense vegetation, dunes, and wide open beaches, and surrounded by salt marsh, Cape Lookout remains virtually untouched. The earliest maps called the area “horrible headland” in reference to its dangerous shoals. The sound side, however, is a calm, sheltered anchorage. The north side of the island, near the village of Portsmouth, is mud-flats and frequently overwashed. The village is no longer inhabited, except by National Park Service volunteers or those chosen by lottery to stay in one of the historic homes. You can make this a day trip, but I recommend camping over. Public facilities are limited. Be sure to bring insect repellent, food and drinking water, sunscreen, appropriate clothing, and a hat. Mosquitoes may visit everywhere else, but this is where they live. The weather is unpredictable here. Fierce lightning storms are common, so be prepared.
Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

by Pam Malec (The Globe Pequot Press)

This is one of America’s few remaining undeveloped barrier islands. Covered by grasslands, bordered by dense vegetation, dunes, and wide open beaches, and surrounded by salt marsh, Cape Lookout remains virtually untouched. The earliest maps called the area “horrible headland” in reference to its dangerous shoals. The sound side, however, is a calm, sheltered anchorage. The north side of the island, near the village of Portsmouth, is mud-flats and frequently overwashed. The village is no longer inhabited, except by National Park Service volunteers or those chosen by lottery to stay in one of the historic homes.

You can make this a day trip, but I recommend camping over. Public facilities are limited. Be sure to bring insect repellent, food and drinking water, sunscreen, appropriate clothing, and a hat. Mosquitoes may visit everywhere else, but this is where they live. The weather is unpredictable here. Fierce lightning storms are common, so be prepared.

©  Pam Malec/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Ocracoke
Distance: 8
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 6 hours to overnight
Season: Year-round, weather permitting
Local Maps: USGS: NC0586 Portsmouth
Driving Directions: Directions to Portsmouth Island from Ocracoke

Recent Trail Reviews

5/28/2003
0

This trail leads to the northern most section of the Core Banks. Talk to the local kayak guides. They usually have a safe trail marked all the way across the inlet. There are shoals throughout the inlet. At low tide you may have to paddle around them or wade across. There are times when this inlet can be dangerous, always check the weather and tides. On Portsmouth Island are historic homes and buildings. Volunteers live in the old Coast Guard kitchen building, if they are around they will help in emergencies.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

Apr 2018