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.


Top 10 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! Kitty Hawk Kites offers a ton of fun activities throughout the fall and winter months for the adventure seekers. It’s 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 or may not have heard about yet:

1)Hang Gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Hang Gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head is an Outer Banks must! Take a Beginner Lesson with us and learn how to fly a Hang Glider on your first lesson. Each lesson is about 3 hours long and includes Ground School and 5 solo training flights. Dune Hang Gliding lessons are conducted at our training facility in Jockey’s Ridge State Park located at Mile Post 12 in Nags Head, NC. The dunes of Jockey’s Ridge provide the perfect platform for learning to hang glide. They have plenty of height for beginners and are soft for landing. We have been providing lessons at this site for over 40 years to over 400,000 students.

2) Kiteboarding in Rodanthe


Fall is a great time to kiteboard here on the Outer Banks, with steady winds ranging from 10 to 35mph and a high number of “kiteable” days. Large temperature fluctuations in the fall months bring stronger northeasterly winds, for the most desirable surf and kiteboarding conditions on the ocean. Waves Village Kiteboarding Resort is conveniently located in the heart of the “Kiteboarding Mecca” on Hatteras Island, with a full-service restaurant and coffee shop on site.

3) Paddle on the Alligator River in Buffalo City

Take a step back in time and paddle through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest and most pristine wildlife refuges on the East Coast. Discover the history of Buffalo City’s logging community, and the story behind one of prohibition’s most famous “moonshine capitals.” Wind through creeks and canals and explore the swirling red waters and ‘living fossils’ of this cypress swamp. This tour lasts about 1.5 hours and is suitable for paddles of all skill levels.

4) Beach Horseback Riding on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Explore the Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Hatteras Island by Horseback. You will see the natural beauty of Hatteras Island from a completely different perspective! Our guided Horseback tour takes you from the maritime forest to the coastline. You’ll have the opportunity to soak in the beauty of the area with the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Cape Point off to the left, and miles of pristine beaches to ride and enjoy. This tour is accessible for riders of all abilities.

5) Wild Horse Tours on the Northern Outer Banks

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 lasts about two hours. Private parties are also available upon request along with special group rates.

6) Walking Ghost Tour in Manteo

OBX Ghost Tours is something your family will be talking about the rest of the summer! You’ll be entertained as a guide leads you through down town Manteo by lantern telling the spooky stories that makes the Outer Banks one of the most haunted beaches in America. We are the Outer Banks’ only ghost tour that uses Ghost Detectors! Whether you believe or not, you’ll enjoy your time at OBX Ghost Tours. Book now for the time of your afterlife.

7) Go Fish! on a Hobie Kayak Fishing Charter

Kayak Fishing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Hands free kayaking + a fishing rod makes the Hobie Angler Kayaks the perfect vessel for a Kayak Fishing Experience, particularly in the shallow soundside waterways of the Outer Banks. Your guide will take you on a fully equipped 4-hour charter to the locations off the beaten path so that you can get better access to fish you might not otherwise know how to find: Drum, Speckled Trout, Flounder and more. Complete beginners and experienced anglers are sure to enjoy this experience, and if you’ve ever considered purchasing a Hobie Angler Kayak, what better way to “drive it before you buy it” with the assurance of an experienced and knowledgeable guide.

8) Sunset Sailing Cruise in Duck

Sail the Albemarle Sound aboard the 41-foot ketch “Movin’ On”. Sunset Cruises are generally intimate experiences for couples and special occasions. Fall’s moderate temperatures make this regularly beautiful excursion extraordinary. Whether you come alone, as a couple, or as a group, your experience on this sailing adventure is warm, friendly, and personal.

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

Wright Glider

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 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 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.

10) Take a Scenic Aerial Tour in a WWII Bi-Plane

Take an 8-minute discovery flight around the town of Historic Manteo in an original WWII bi-plane trainer, accommodating up to 2 people per trip. Fly a bit longer with 20- and 35- minute flights and see the classic Outer Banks sites such as the Wright Brothers Monument, Jockey’s Ridge, Oregon Inlet or even the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the open-air cockpit bi-plane. Get a bird’s eye view of the incredible coastline and treasures that the Outer Banks offers with an airplane tour.

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


In New England this Fall?  Check out the Fall foliage at Morningside Flight Park!

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!