Down East’s creeks and marshes, Core Sound’s shallow waters and the house side shoals and sloughs of Core and Shackleford Banks provide a quiet and undiscovered opportunity for paddlers. Experience coastal North Carolina rich in natural beauty as well as maritime history and heritage.
The Down East Paddle Trail Map is the first to highlight trails in the Down East area of Carteret County, the southern arm of the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway.
The sixteen trails, ranging in length from 2.3 miles to 13.7 miles, are designated as easy, moderate, or difficult. The trails meander through saltwater marshes, channels and sloughs that will offer the paddler an experience that fits their ability level, from short day trips to multi-day campouts.
Paddlers can guide through the Straights, Back Sound or Core Sound enjoying bird watching opportunities in some of the most pristine waters in the world. Kayaking affords an intimate and quiet view of the uninhabited Outer Banks.
Remember to pay attention to the tides, and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent; water shoes and protective clothing are strongly advised.
From Hwy 101: Travel east on Hwy 101 for approximately 15 miles, turn left onto Laurel Road fro approximately 6 miles then right on Merrimon Road. In approximately 5 miles, turn left onto Hwy 70 where you will cross North River Bridge and arrive at the entrance to Down East and the Outer Banks Scenic Byway.
From Morehead City: Take U.S. 70 East. Crossing the North River Bridge, you arrive at the entrance to Down East and the Outer Banks Scenic Byway.
From Ocracoke: Take the Ocracoke-Cedar Island Ferry where you will arrive at Cedar Island, the northern entrance to Down East and the most southerly region of the Outer Banks Scenic Byway. Take SR 12 South from the ferry terminal which will join with U.S. 70 taking you to all points Down East.