Play in down east

On Water

With more than 85 miles of enticing coastline, it's no wonder that water plays such an important role in our culture and activities. Whether you find your passion on a board, on a boat or under the waves, the Crystal Coast offers incredible opportunities to enjoy the H20 that surrounds you. Dive in!

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Down East Kayak Paddle Trails

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.

Down East, Beaufort NC 28516, USA


Cedar Creek Camp Ground & Marina

***20 amp and 30 amp service only***

Bath house – hot showers


Boat launch

Fish cleaning facilities

Picnic tables


Boat slips

Boat storage

Wireless internet(fee)

Swing set

Groceries, RV supplies, fire wood, bait, tackle, etc.

Access to Core Sound and Drum Inlet Fishing

Cabin Rental Upon Request

Colton’s Toy

Fishing Charters

Captain Justin Gilgo – Guide

111 Canal Drive, Sea Level

(252) 723-0849


Morris Marina & Ferry Service

Morris Marina is located in Atlantic, NC at the end of Morris Marina Road on Core Sound. It is owned and operated by Kari & Rick Martin. Morris Marina has been in business for 69 years at Cape Lookout National Seashore and the National Park Service. Morris Marina is the homeport for the ferries, Donza Lee and Green Grass. The ferries offer transportation to Long Point Cabins on Portsmouth Island and the ferry trip is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to the island. The marina is a safe harbor with seawalls, a launching ramp, boat slips, and a marked channel offering easy access to and from Core Sound. Gas and diesel are available on the docks.

Passenger and 4-wheel drive vehicle ferry service to North Core Banks and Portsmouth operates mid-March through early December. Pets on leash or in vehicles are accommodated.

1000 Morris Marina Road, Atlantic, NC 28511, United States

(252) 225-4261


Down East Kayaks

We are located¬†“Down East” – –¬† in the small community of Straits, right before the Harkers Island Bridge. And great places to visit that are located near us are Cape Lookout Lighthouse and National Seashore and the Shackleford ponies – – right at our back door!

Your kayak adventure will give you the time of your life as you paddle The Straits, Core Sound or Back Sound! It’s a great family activity for folks of all ages!

1604 Harkers Island Road Beaufort, NC 28516

(252) 838-1336