Best Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

This list represents the most popular sea kayaking in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina sea kayaking trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Hammocks Beach State Park


Hammocks Beach has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the area and one of the most popular spots for sea kayakers on the North Carolina Coast. This island, like many, can only be reached by bo…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Swansboro, NC - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles BestSea Kayaking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#2. Bald Head Island


Barely 2 miles off the southeastern tip of North Carolina lies a semitropical island. Covered by dunes and beach, maritime forest, and vast salt marshes, this secluded island is a paddler’s paradise.…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Southport, NC - Sea Kayaking - 7.5 miles BestSea Kayaking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#3. Cape Lookout National Seashore


So close to civilization, yet so far away, Cape Lookout National Seashore is another world. This 55-mile-long seashore is made up of three islands: North Core Banks, South Core Banks, and Shackleford…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Beaufort, NC - Sea Kayaking - 7 miles BestSea Kayaking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#4. Masonboro Island


Masonboro Island is one of the components of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve System in North Carolina. The NCNERRS encourages researchers from universities and government labora…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Wilmington, NC - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#5. Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island


Early maps show Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands joined. Hatteras Inlet was formed on a stormy night, September 7, 1846. Its history has been stormy every since. During the Civil War, the Confederates co…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Hatteras, NC - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#6. Portsmouth Island from Atlantic


Established in 1753, Portsmouth grew to be the largest settlement on the Outer Banks. It remained the largest for one hundred years. At that time, Ocracoke Inlet was the major trade route through the…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Atlantic, NC - Sea Kayaking - 4 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#7. Portsmouth Island from Ocracoke


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 remain…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Ocracoke, NC - Sea Kayaking - 8 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#8. Fort Fisher


Live oaks with limbs seared by the salty wind and spray, the ocean visible in the background—this is Fort Fisher. Located on the southern tip of Pleasure Island near Wilmington, 5 miles south of Carol…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Wilmington, NC - Sea Kayaking - 2 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#9. Kitty Hawk Woods Preserve


A local secret for years, Kitty Hawk Woods is one of five best maritime forests in the world. What makes it special is that plants and animals you would usually find in upland communities exist less t…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Kitty Hawk, NC - Sea Kayaking - 8.5 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#10. Oak Island


Oak Island’s 13-mile beachfront incorporates the communities of Caswell Beach, Yaupon Beach, and Long Beach. Fort Caswell lies on the most northern section of the island. This earthworks fort was cons…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Southport, NC - Sea Kayaking - 3 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#11. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge


Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a true wilderness. Red wolves prowl its forests, alligators slither under the clear black water, and black bears, bobcats, otters, and deer wander among the…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Nags Head, NC - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#12. Cape Hatteras National Seashore


Where sea, sand, nature, and people come together in an uneasy mix—that’s a good way to describe Cape Hatteras. It’s not easy to get here, to live here, or to leave. It’s wild and untamed. The land is…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Avon, NC - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#13. Corolla Marshes from Timbuc II


Currituck first became known as the duck hunting capital of the East Coast. The name Currituck comes from the Indian word for “land of the wild goose.” There used to be so many birds that they darkene…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Corolla, NC - Sea Kayaking - 7 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#14. Boating, Sailing, & Paddling on Cape Hatteras National Seashore


Boating is a way of life on the Outer Banks. There’s much more water than there is land, so it’s only natural to be afloat. Maybe it’s the whipping wind in your face or the wake you leave behind, but…
From the guidebook "Exploring Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores"
Buxton, NC - Sea Kayaking
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Avon from Spence Creek


Avon was once named Kinnakeet, but the post office deemed the name too long and changed it. The area was once covered with thick woods of live oak and cedar. These trees were cut as timber for buildin…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Avon, NC - Sea Kayaking - 5.75 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#16. Bodie Island


Just south of Nags Head is Bodie (pronounced body) Island. You won’t find a bridge, because it is no longer an island. Six different inlets have come and gone in the area between Bodie Island Lighthou…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Nags Head, NC - Sea Kayaking - 7 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#17. Frisco Woods


Frisco is a small community located between Buxton and Hatteras Village. Originally known as Trent, it is wooded on the sound side and has several large sand dunes on its ocean side. The area surround…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Frisco, NC - Sea Kayaking - 6 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#18. Martins Point and Duck


All of what is now Southern Shores was once sand dunes and beach covered with dead cedars. Down Jean Guite Creek, however, was a thriving maritime forest. Live oaks big enough for ship timbers were cu…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Duck, NC - Sea Kayaking - 11 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#19. Whale Head Bay to Monkey Island


The area around Whale Head Bay is known for its beautiful marshes, which are filled with wildlife such as otter, deer, and birds. It is well protected from the winds if you stay inside the islands. If…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Corolla, NC - Sea Kayaking - 7 miles
Published by The Globe Pequot Press

#20. Atlantic Ocean Surf Spots


There is nothing like riding the waves. You can be in a kayak, on a surfboard, on a body board, or on your stomach. The thrill is more than just riding them in. It’s punching out through the surf zone…
From the guidebook "Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina"
Rodanthe, NC - Sea Kayaking
Published by The Globe Pequot Press