Emerald Isle Kayaking

The kayaking possibilities around Emerald Isle are limitless. It's truly a paradise for kayakers, and one of the finest kayaking destinations in the country.

What makes Emerald Isle kayaking so special are the confluence of several distinct water sources, and the numerous uninhabited islands and inland waterways. If you like paddling in the ocean, then the warm waters of the Atlantic beckon you to discover the miles of shoreline of Emerald Isle and Bear Island. If paddling estuaries and tidal waterways is your passion, then Bogue Sound provides numerous established kayaking trails, or the freedom to explore your own waterways. And if black water kayaking is your calling, then White Oak River will transport you deep into a bayou of swamp vegetation and wildlife.

The great thing about Emerald Isle kayaking is that the shallow draft of your kayak allows you to travel waterways where no other boats can go, so you can see our native wildlife up close in their natural habitats.

If you don't have your own kayak, or would like to enlist the services of a local guide, several great kayaking companies are ready to help you with your Emerald Isle kayaking experience.

While the possibilities are truly endless, here are some favorite locations and destinations.

Bear Island - Hammocks Beach State Park

Just west of Emerald Isle lies uninhabited Bear Island, home of Hammocks Beach State Park. Bear Island is a short paddle trip from either The Point on Emerald Isle, or from several locations on the mainland near Cape Cateret or Swansboro.

Bear Island affords miles of pristine beaches completely free from crowds even at the height of summer. There's primitive camping available there as well, so you can load up the gear and paddle out for an overnight stay on the beach!

Bogue Sound

The sheltered waters of Bogue Sound provide miles and miles of tidal estuary paddling through and endless array of islands. Many of the islands are sanctuaries, home to a myriad of water fowl, including the statuesque Ibis, so for nature lovers Bogue sound is an incredible source of nature watching and discovery.

And when you get tired of paddling and need a break, just find your own beach or tidal island to land your boat and have a picnic! The clear warm waters of Bogue sound are perfect for a refreshing dip, so if you've packed your snorkeling gear you're ready to splash around and see what treasures you can find.

Bogue Sound is a great place for beginning kayakers to learn the art of kayaking, since most of the water is so shallow you can just roll out of the boat and stand in waist deep water!

White Oak River

The White Oak River opens up miles of black water kayaking as you paddle up river through bayou like conditions. If you've never paddled in black water conditions before, it's an experience not to be missed. You get the feeling you're paddling through regions that no human eye has ever seen before, with dense vegetation all around you and your only companions are the stillness of the river and the natural wildlife your quietly paddling by.

Eagles and herons are common sightings, or perhaps you will get lucky and catch a rare glimpse of an elusive alligator.

At several points along the river are landing points that provide primitive camping options. So it's entirely possible to spend an entire week just paddling the White Oak River going from camping spot to camping spot.

So Get Out and Paddle!

No matter what your kayaking desires may be, there are several great kayaking outfitters in the area that offer kayak sales & rentals, paddling lessons, maps, or guided excursions. They're a great place to begin your kayaking adventure around Emerald Isle!

Kayaking Outfitters near Emerald Isle

Barrier Island Kayaks

160 Cedar Point Blvd.
Cedar Point, NC 28584

Phone: (252) 393-6457
Map to Location


Island Water Sports

1960 Salter Path Rd.
Salter Path, NC 28575

Phone: (252) 247-7303
Map to Location


Swansboro Paddle Boarding & Kayaking

108 W Corbett Ave.
Swansboro, NC 28584

Phone: (910) 389-1471
Map to Location





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