Advice for Currituck & Albemarle Sounds

We are heading to Corolla, NC (OBX) next week for our fist-time OBX vacation. We are packing our touring 'yaks and bikes and looking forward to exploration. Please recommend launch areas and calm water paddling suggestions for Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound, or any other area that we might not be aware of. It’s been a challenge to find up-to-date kayaking info and maps online and wanted some advance information before we get there. Thank you!


Check out Kitty Hawk Woods reservation
It is a fresh water river that is on the back side of Kitty Hawk, (the inland side). There is a parking area and a launch into the river. It is a nice paddle that leads into the sound.

If you have never seen a Cotton Mouth, there are quite a few of them there. Don’t bother them, and they won’t bother you, but you can get some good pictures of them.

jack L

Check out the Currituck Heritage Park

– Last Updated: Jul-30-13 4:33 PM EST –

It is up around the Corolla lighthouse and the restored hunting lodge. They have a nice kayak launch area that give access to the northern part of the sound.

One thing to be aware of is that water levels in this area of the sound seems more affected by wind than tide. If there is a strong N or NE wind, especially for a day or so preceeding, you may not have a lot of water in there.

The Alligator River NWR is interesting also.

Further down the OBX are a few launch sites as well as on the causeway over to Manteo.

I highly recommend going over to Manteo and putting in at the town launch there. You can access the Elizabeth II for on the water perspective. Just be aware that when you go out on the open sound things can get up quickly if there are higher winds forecast. You can also put on at a small landing just under the 64 bridge on the west side of Manteo/Roanoke Island. It is even possible to set a shuttle at the town boat ramp and paddle around the north side of Roanoke Island.

Also consider putting in below Whalebone Junction for a paddle up through the estuary to view Bodie Island lighthouse. You can't actually get to the lighthouse from the water, but it is a generally sheltered paddle. Access is at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center put in. DO NOT head towards Oregon Inlet if you are beginners, or even if you are advanced, unless you know how to read tides and know what you are doing.

This is a good starting place for info:

Thank you
This are excellent suggestions and I just briefly looks at the OBX Paddlers site and it looks like this will provide loads of options for us. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my request for information! Happy Paddling!

Thank you for taking the time to respond. As far as those cottonmouths - we will definitely give them wide berth! Thank you for the suggestions - we now have a better idea of where we would like to launch and explore. Happy Paddling!