Pea Island is a coastal barrier island that’s part of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. A popular vacation spot for families living along the East Coast, the Outer Banks provide plenty for you and your pet to enjoy.
The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge offers nesting and wintering habitats for migratory birds such as snow geese and raptors. Other than birding (the beach is called a birder’s paradise and attracts nearly 3 million visitors annually), activities include environmental education, photography, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.
A visitors center is located on Roanoke Island, which is the hub of Outer Banks tourism. The center acts as a gateway to locations such as Pea Island and is a good place to stop to get further information on what you can do at the destination and what you might be interested in.
There are two universally accessible wildlife trails on Pea Island. The North Pond Wildlife Trail is a half mile and includes two towers with views of the nearby ponds. The Salt Flats Wildlife Trail is shorter and provides an overlook of similar ponds. You can book guided canoe tours to see the area more thoroughly, along with refuge staff, and also attend refuge educational events on topics ranging from birding to sea turtles.
In order to protect the conservation area and wildlife, signage is posted indicating when areas are closed off to minimize animal and plant disturbance. Signage also indicates where visitors can bike and fish.
Dogs are welcomed at the refuge but must be leashed at all times with a leash of no more than 10 feet. Pets are not allowed on the west side of NC Highway 12, except in parking areas and adjacent spots that are not wildlife trails. The beach asks that you not disturb or allow your pet to disturb the wildlife, plantlife, or even any minerals or antlers you might find during your visit.