Lake Mattamuskeet

New Holland, North Carolina

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1 Review
5 out of 5
Drive about ninety minutes west from Nags Head on U.S. 264 and you will be pleasantly surprised. Lake Mattamuskeet, North Carolina’s largest natural lake, is a paddler’s paradise. From December through February, Lake Mattamuskeet attracts thousands of swans, ducks, and geese. A first-class hotel was built with a full fleet of freight and passenger boats available for use. This plan did not take long to fall apart, however. Wet soil conditions, excessive rain, and the fact that the lake is several feet below sea level changed the developer’s plans. In 1934, 50,000 acres of the farm were sold to the U.S. government for developing into a wildlife refuge. The Civilian Conservation Corps helped to set up the refuge and convert the pumping plant into a rustic lodge for hunting and fishing. Mattamuskeet Lodge opened to the public in 1937 and became known as the Canada goose hunting capital of the world. The lodge now attracts kayakers, bird-watchers, and photographers who come to see the wildlife. You will enjoy this beautiful paddle no matter what the season.
Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

by Pam Malec (The Globe Pequot Press)

Drive about ninety minutes west from Nags Head on U.S. 264 and you will be pleasantly surprised. Lake Mattamuskeet, North Carolina’s largest natural lake, is a paddler’s paradise. From December through February, Lake Mattamuskeet attracts thousands of swans, ducks, and geese. A first-class hotel was built with a full fleet of freight and passenger boats available for use. This plan did not take long to fall apart, however. Wet soil conditions, excessive rain, and the fact that the lake is several feet below sea level changed the developer’s plans.

In 1934, 50,000 acres of the farm were sold to the U.S. government for developing into a wildlife refuge. The Civilian Conservation Corps helped to set up the refuge and convert the pumping plant into a rustic lodge for hunting and fishing. Mattamuskeet Lodge opened to the public in 1937 and became known as the Canada goose hunting capital of the world. The lodge now attracts kayakers, bird-watchers, and photographers who come to see the wildlife. You will enjoy this beautiful paddle no matter what the season.

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

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: New Holland
Distance: 15
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: Full day
Season: Year-round, weather permitting
Local Maps: USGS: NC0511 New Holland, NC0226 Fairfield, NC0216 Englehard West, NC0469 Middletown, NC0737 Swanquarter, and NC0514 New Lake SE
Driving Directions: Directions to Lake Mattamuskeet

Recent Trail Reviews

3/27/2008
0

This was a beautiful trip. They have put in a new landing so we spent a couple hours out on the lake just paddling around - no particular trail that we followed, though, because there was just too much to see! The birds are spectacular when you're there at the right time (saw lots of egrets this past trip, last time there were bald eagles and a whole bunch of different wading birds). The water in spots is shallow, so just watch where you go otherwise you'll bump the bottom, but it is worth the trip out. Because of the size of the lake wind can make it quite choppy, but if you hug the shore-line you'll be fine. Highly recommended!



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