Trying to plan a 2 night trip out on Lea Hutaff Island in North Carolina for my group, looking for any tips or advice especially as to best place to launch from and be able to leave a few vehicles there as we usually end up with a pretty big group on our trips. We have not done a saltwater camping trip and I am aware of the additional gear and supplies that will be needed and I have also done alot of map research along with online research and have found many little marinas and boat ramps, just looking for someone with experience in the area to try and identify the best location that will allow 3 or 4 vehicles with kayak trailers to park for a couple days.
The Hampstead Wildlife Ramp is a fairly close access to the north end of Lea Hutaff. I’ve actually parked in the parking spaces on the south end of Topsail Island and camped out on the north end of Lea Hutaff, which is just across the inlet on the north side of Lea Hutaff. It has been a couple years since I’ve done that, so you would want to check with the local authorities to see if it’s still ok to park overnight there, and if it will accommodate trailer parking. The Wildlife Ramps obviously will accommodate trailer parking, and only vehicles with trailers are allowed to park in the trailer parking spaces, which are the majority of parking spaces at the Wildlife Ramps. The south end of Topsail Island is public beach access parking without boat ramps.
I’ve also camped on the south end of Lea Hutaff. There used to be a marina there at the end of Scott’s Hill Loop Rd that allowed you to pay to launch, but you now have to own a slip there to use it. I’ve paddled all the way from Wrightsville Beach Wildlife Ramp to camp on the south end, and the only other times I used to park at that marina at the end of Scott’s Hill Loop Rd., which is no longer available for us.
Which side of the island did you want to camp on?
I am not set on either side, just whichever side ends up working better for our group between parking and camping locations. I read a review that it gets pretty crowded during summer on both North and South side so I am trying to go in April and then just camp at whichever place we can find that is best suitable for us. I would definitely like to launch from Intercoastal side and paddle up through the little creeks to avoid the 2 inlets as best as possible as we usually have some newer paddlers that go out with us. Any suggestions on beat part of island to camp with a group of paddlers anywhere between 6 and 12 people?