Alligator River Kayaking-History, Beauty

Abandoned railroad bridge over Mill Tail Creek, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Abandoned railroad bridge over Mill Tail Creek, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Kitty Hawk Kites offers a number of kayak tours, offering paddlers a chance to explore parts of the Outer Banks and surrounding areas in a different way, in ways that very few people have a chance to see. The Alligator River Kayak Tour is a great example of that.

Across Roanoke Sound from Manteo, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, is a vast—154,000 acres—wilderness of swamp, pocosin and forest that nurtures an environment of extraordinary diversity. The woods are home to black bears, deer, fox and many others. . . and yes there are alligators in the reserve. This is also the release site for the reintroduction of the red wolf, a subspecies of wolves that was extinct outside of zoos.

There was once a small city here—Buffalo City—a logging town from the 1870s to the 1920s and when the logging gave out, the residents turned to moonshining during Prohibition. There is nothing left of the town; the surrounding swamp, pocosin and forest have reclaimed the land and Buffalo City is now the stuff of legend.

There is still a road that recalls that history. Flat, fairly straight and dusty, Buffalo City Road dead ends at a beautiful kayak put in on Mill Tail Creek.

The tour is a beautiful paddle through one of the largest primitive areas on the East Coast. The paddling is actually quite easy—the water is flat with little or no current and the environment is well protected from the wind. Yet with massive trees arching overhead and the remnants of the narrow gage railroad bed next to the creek, this is a kayak paddle into nature and history that is perfect for anyone.

An important hint—insect repellant is a must for this trip.

The Alligator River Kayak Tour is just one of many kayak tours Kitty Hawk Kites offers. For more information call 1-877-359-8447 or click to go online.


Off Season Outer Banks Adventures!

The summer may be winding down on the Outer Banks but there are still many adventures yet to be had on the beautiful barrier islands!

In case you didn’t know, Kitty Hawk Kites offers a ton of fun activities through out the fall and winter months for those out for some great adventures – and this happens to be one of the best times to visit as accommodations are extremely affordable and the crowds have thinned out.

Here are a few activities we offer during the off season that you may not have heard about yet:

Fly a 1902 Wright Glider at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

1902 Wright Glider - Kitty Hawk Kites

Soar above the dunes like a Wright Brother in a museum quality replica of the 1902 Wright Glider that the Orville and Wilbur Wright used to practice leading up to the famous 1903 flight. The Wright Brothers actually spent the months of September and October of 1902 flying their glider on the dunes of North Carolina before heading home to build the 1903 airplane – making this experience extremely inspiring for history enthusiasts and aviation buffs.

The activity is $349/person but with a group of 10 or more people the price is reduced to $99/person which makes this experience perfect for groups and educational ventures. The higher winds of October-December make this a perfect adventure for the fall and this is the only place in the world you can fly like a Wright Brother.

Kiteboarding in Rodanthe

The fall is a great time to kiteboard here on the Outer Banks with steady winds ranging from 10 to 35mph and the barrier islands are known for its high number of “kiteable” days. Because of large temperature fluctuations in the fall months bringing stronger north easterly winds which can be most desirable weather for kiteboarding in the ocean. Many kite boarders are attracted to the area during this time of year because of the better surf conditions on the east coast.

Our Kiteboarding Expert, Chris Moore says, “If you still haven’t learned this fast growing water sport, the fall is also a great time to learn as the winds are favorable for beginners and the water and air temperatures are still very comfortable!”

In addition to good winds and conditions, Waves Village Kiteboarding Resort is conveniently located in the heart of the “Kiteboarding Mecca” on Hatteras Island, this time of year brings extremely affordable rates for onsite condos located right next to the Kitty Hawk Kites Kiteboarding Pro Shop and School. Also on site is a full service restaurant and coffee shop!

Wild Horse Tours on the Northern Outer Banks

Wild Horse Tours in Corolla

Enjoy breathtaking views of the wild horses of the Northern Outer Banks as your guide gives you local folklore and eclectic history as you ride into the heart of the off road Outer Banks just North of Corolla. This adventure is $50/person and lasts about two hours. Private parties are also available upon request along with special group rates.

Historic Northern Outer Banks Sightseeing Tour

Tour the beautiful Historic Whalehead Club and Currituck Beach Lighthouse  and enjoy an educational stop at the Outer Banks Center of Wildilfe. Cost is $65/person – all admissions are included in this price.

Paddle the Outer Banks from Corolla to Hatteras

Enjoy the beautiful eco-systems of the soundside marshes of the Outer Banks – whether you venture out on your own with a rental kayak or choose to take a guided tour with our professional guides, this experience – this is perfect for individuals or groups.

Rates vary based on length of rental and tour options. Luke Baer, Recreation Sales Manager, recommends the Safari River Maritime Forest Kayak Tour under a canopy of live oaks and red maple trees. This tour lasts about 1.5 hours and is perfectly secluded for paddles of all skill levels. Sunset paddles are also available.

Other adventures offered year round at Kitty Hawk Kites are the dune hang gliding and paragliding lessons offered at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Paragliding is a relatively new venture offered on the dunes that continues to build momentum on the Outer Banks.

Mike Appel, Lead Paragliding Instructor, says, “The fall season presents some of the best conditions for paragliding on the Outer Banks. Consistent winds coupled with cooler temperatures and soft sands creates a wonderful learning environment on the dunes. With fewer seasonal visitors, classes are often more flexible and individualized allowing for more more personal instruction.”


Air tours, flight training, and charter fishing are also available year round. As 2014 quickly approaches, Kitty Hawk Kites is already planning a year of fantastic events and adventures in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the first store opening back in 1974. For the latest news and events follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on these activities and other fun Outer Banks adventures – contact us at 1.877.FLY.THIS!

2013 – The year of the SUP and more!

Well, the summer season is knocking down our door here at Kitty Hawk Kites and we are READY! We have a bunch of new adventures and some pretty exciting updates since last season!

1. New Recreation Center at Sanderling Resort! We are so excited to announce our new recreation center at Sanderling Resort – from gorgeous sunset paddling (kayak or SUP) to JetSkis to Surf Lessons on the beach – we will be offering new tour options to their guests and our own as well!

Family Adventures at Sanderling Resort!

Family Adventures at Sanderling Resort!

2. We offer Fishing Tours! We have added Fishing tours to our list of adventures for 2013 – there has been a huge interest in having us offer this adventure to our customers and we are pleased to announce the partnership with Phideaux Fishing this year! Be sure to give us a call to find out more details!

3. We offer K-Club Specials! Do you stay in a K-club home? If you aren’t sure, ask your realtor! The K-Club offers all kinds of perks to homeowners and those who choose to stay at a K-Club home. Discounts, special rates and more. If you are a homeowner interested in offering this incentive to your guests let us know! 1-877-FLY-THIS

4. We have an even stronger rentals program! We have ramped up our rentals program this year with everything from surf boards, paddle boards,  and kayaks to feather banners and balloon launchers. Whether you are throwing a party or just looking to get out on the water – we can help you with renting everything you need and even help you with delivery! Jim Gould, our Rentals Manager, is here to make your summer smooth and easy! Give him a call at 252-441-6800.

Rentals with Kitty Hawk Kites & Kitty Hawk Surf Company!

Rentals with Kitty Hawk Kites & Kitty Hawk Surf Company!

5. The Year of the Stand-Up Paddleboard! If there is one thing you need to know about 2013 on the Outer Banks – it’s that this will be the year of the  stand-up paddleboard – so book your tours, lessons and rentals as soon as possible! We have loaded up on tons of boards to spread the good vibes and get as many people in the water as we can this summer. In fact, we are even going to be doing night paddling tours. Shop any of our locations for the best selection of SUPs on the Outer Banks or give us a call at 1-877-FLY-THIS to find out where you can learn to paddle!

Paddle the Outer Banks!

Paddle the Outer Banks!


There’s more news to come and we’ll keep you posted! In the mean, time be sure to check out all the amazing adventures you can do at Kitty Hawk Kites! We’re in the business of making your Outer Banks bucket list a reality!

Kayaking on the Outer Banks

We recently had the pleasure of helping Melody Patton with her kayak reservation and kayak adventure on the Maritime Forest Kayak Tour. This particular tour takes you through Kitty Hawk Woods under a canopy of Live Oaks and Red Maples. Melody  Patton sent over some amazing photos from her tour along with a warm testimony.

Here’s what she had to say:

“Our group of seven found your Maritime Forest Kayak Tour to be quite the adventure for beginners and experienced kayakers alike.  We were looking for a relaxing, informative and scenic way to enjoy a pristine aquatic environment like we hadn’t experienced before, and this tour certainly fulfilled that wish.  Our guide, Adam, first conducted a brief training session and he was also extremely well versed in the plant and animal surroundings of the area.  He presented his knowledge in an easy-to-understand, friendly way and welcomed questions from the group.  In addition, Heather, the Kitty Hawk Kayaks manager of the 6150 North Croatan Highway location, was very responsive to our questions and was very concerned about making our experience a memorable one.  I also commend Luke, the Reservations Manager, for helping to resolve a reservations issue.” – Melody Patton

Enjoying the Maritime Forest Kayak Tour!


Melody says "I just love this photo! It's like he was posing for the camera!"


Gorgeous photo by Melody Patton of the Maritime Forest on the Outer Banks of North Carolina!


We're so glad Melody and her group enjoyed the tour!

Special thanks to Melody for sending over these photos and her testimony to share on our blog! To book your kayak reservation call us at 1-877-359-8447 or you can book online!