LOCATION: Carrot Island Beaufort, NC Island Ferry Adventures PH: 252-728-4129 LENGTH: 1/2 mile TYPE: Loop RANKING: Easy ACCESS: Dawn to Dusk USAGE: Moderate to heavy FEES: Free if by kayak or $10 by Island Ferry Adventures MAPS: At Island Ferry SURFACE: Beach FEATURES: Wildlife including horses COMMENTS: Be aware of tides, use sunscreen, take bug spray and wear shoes that can get wet PET FRIENDLY: Yes
The Rachel Carson Reserve is 2,315 acres and has five islands. In the late 1940s a local physician introduced horses to this site and after years of roaming eventually became feral. The Reserve is now home to a small herd and managed by the state of North Carolina. It is located between the mouths of the North and Newport Rivers and just across from Beaufort Inlet.
In July 2015 we caught the Island Ferry Adventures ferry in Beaufort to hike on Carrot Island and hopefully see a few wild horses. The Outer Loop is about ½ mile and takes you through mudflats, salt marshes and beach. We made the mistake of hiking during high tide and couldn’t make it all the way around the island. We were able to hike the Inner Loop and had the island all to ourselves.
There are no facilities on the islands and don’t forget to take drinking water. It’s best to wear shoes because of the hot sand and oyster shells.
DIRECTIONS: Beaufort, North Carolina is off of Highway 70.