Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge

Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge was established on Knotts Island in 1960 as a winter haven for migratory birds. In the winter, the refuge focuses on marsh and water management to provide food for thousand of swans, ducks, and geese inhabitants. In the spring, the refuge opens its trail system for visitors to view the huge variety of waterbirds and songbirds.

A canoeing/boating access leads to 20 miles of canals used for birdwatching, fishing and photography. The refuge has one auto tour route and two hiking and bicycling trails. Fishing is allowed in impoundments, canals, and other water areas, subject to North Carolina fishing regulations.

Mackay Island is located in the extreme northeast corner of North Carolina; some portions of the refuge extend into Virginia.

To get to the refuge directly by highway, follow Princess Anne Road 11 miles south of Pungo, VA (near Chesapeake, VA).

From the south, take the Knotts Island Ferry from Currituck Courthouse on US Highway 168 and follow SR 615 north. The refuge office is located on SR 615.

Refuge trails are open late April to mid-October

For Information:
Refuge Office hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: (919) 429-3100

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 13 Sep 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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