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Rachel Carson Reserve

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 101 Pivers Island Rd Ofc, Beaufort, NC 28516-9701
Phone Number:
+1 252-838-0883

The Rachel Carson component of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve &...

The Rachel Carson component of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve & National Estuarine Research Reserve is located between the mouths of the Newport and North rivers in southern Carteret County, directly across Taylor's Creek from the historic town of Beaufort. It is accessible only by boat (local ferry vendor, private vessel, or canoes and kayaks).

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 66 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 52
  • 14
    Very good
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Kayakers paradise

This is a great place to paddle your kayak or SUP and get up close with coastal creatures. From hermit crabs to birds of all kinds to the horses, it is a delight to be so close to... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
New Bern, North Carolina
via mobile
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66 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 66: English reviews
New Bern, North Carolina
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This is a great place to paddle your kayak or SUP and get up close with coastal creatures. From hermit crabs to birds of all kinds to the horses, it is a delight to be so close to the animals. Bring water socks as there are some sharp shells in areas on the island. If you bring Fido, kindly keep... More 

Thank BeachbumSOBX
Thousand Oaks
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We came to Beaufort to enjoy a day trip. The island was on our list and so glad it was! What a fabulous experience! The beauty of wild horses was incredible. We took the ferry over to the island. We hiked both trails and just relaxed and enjoyed the wild horses. Beautiful views of the water and Beaufort. Highly recommend!

Thank patty g
Waynesville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
52 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2016

This was the second time we had been on the Rachel Carson Reserve. The first time we stayed on the trail and saw two horses and took pictures of the landscape only to realize later those were not bushes, but horses as well. This trip, we went off the trail trekking up and over dunes to the easternmost part of... More 

3 Thank Linda L
Boone, North Carolina
Level Contributor
72 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2016 via mobile

We were actively looking for a coastal home in another part of the state when we came to Beaufort and never left. The reserve is a big part of that decision. To know so much land like this exists just a boat ride away is beyond belief.

2 Thank drleo2
Bismarck, North Dakota
Level Contributor
291 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2016

You often get a peek at the horses from the shore at Beaufort but a boat tour is the best way to see the horses. There is so much history here.

1 Thank gshore
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2016

We booked a small transport boat to travel across the bay area. Once on the island we were able to spend hours walking and investigating, searching for horses and enjoying the beauty. When we went it was pretty chilly and therefore we were the only people on the island.

2 Thank picperf2036
Port Jefferson Station, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2016

We had a guided tour with Jeanine (a sweet lady that was chock full of information about the sea, horses and nature). After a short ferry ride over to Carrot Island, Jeanine showed us the wild Spanish horses and shared information about each one of them (there were 9) and how they arrived there many years ago. Then we walked... More 

2 Thank Rose B
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2016 via mobile

We had such a good time in Beaufort NC. Such a cute seaside town with lots to do. We took a ferry to Bird Shoals Island. Pack your chairs, cooler with drinks & snacks, use sunscreen, a bucket and shovel would be useful too. We did not see any wild horses. I think they stay away from beach goers. There... More 

Thank Susanne P
Wilmington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2016

We took a ferry out to Carrot Island and went on a walking trail on part of the island. Loved it, it's peaceful, all natural, horses here and there, lots of crabs. Just lots of nature to enjoy. We all really enjoyed a place that is 'wild' enough (though with a couple of trails) to just enjoy the nice views.... More 

Thank terrisirig
Holly Springs, NC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2016

Really enjoyed shelling and hiking the island. Wild horses everywhere, but the place was peaceful and the weather mild. Tour boat from the Beaufort dock was a short, comfortable trip there. Bring water, as there is nothing on the preserve except what you carry.

Thank pdaddy1959

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Chincoteague Island, Virginia
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?