Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Area

January CNPA, Charlotte Photography outing
January 20th to 23rd of 2023
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Pungo Unit
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge conserves a rare type of wetland habitat, known as “pocosin,” derived from a Native American word meaning “swamp on a hill.” The refuge encompasses vast acres of natural wetlands, including the unique southeastern pocosin peat wetlands, open water on Pungo and New Lakes, upland pine forests, and managed moist-soil and agricultural units that provide high-energy food for waterfowl. More than a hundred thousand ducks, geese, and swans congregate on the refuge in winter, and the refuge supports one of the densest populations of black bear ever reported. The refuge is the site of one of the country’s largest wetland restoration projects, restoring natural hydrology to the pocosin peatlands. From website.
I visited the area from January 4th to 8th of 2023. I visited Pungo Unit Of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Alligator River Game Land, Red Wolf Center, and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge visitor center. I covered a lot of ground and saw a lot of wild life. Sorry no bears on this trip.
Below is my proposed itinerary for the upcoming outing
Friday 20th
1:00 pm
Visit the Red Wolf Center for educational program
This is a great opportunity to learn about the Red Wolf program and see 2 Red Wolfs held at the center.
The Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge visitor center is just around the corer with lots of information and a short boardwalk along the water for some Photo opportunities.
4:00 pm
Check in to the Holiday Inn Express Plymouth, 840 US-64, Plymouth, NC 27962, 252793.4700
Room rates are $104/night. Just tell them you are with CNPC, Charlotte
6:00 pm
Group dinner. There is a Pizza Hut, or open to suggestions, across the street and we can go there is it’s a small group or order take out and eat at hotel.

Saturday 21st
Photography in the Pungo Unit
6:30 am Departure until the sun goes down
The sunrise is around 7:30 so with a 6:30 departure we should arrive around 7 to 7:15 am. We will spend the day photographing and exploring the Pungo unit. There is not much close by to fill you time during the midday sun so I recommend to bring your lap top and start downloading images until the setting sun.
Bring food, snacks, water and anything necessary for a full day of photography. There is a small store nearby, but I do not know the hours or what supplies they have.

Sunday 22nd
Photography in Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge
5:30 am Departure until the sun goes down
The sun should be rising behind the Cypress Trees on the lake visible from Lake Mattamuskeet Observation Deck. Unfortunately, when I was there the cloud cover was too thick, maybe this time will be the time. After sunrise we will head south into the refuge for ample wildlife and exploring.
Bring food, snacks, water, and anything necessary for a full day of photography. The town of Engelhard is close by for anything you might need. We can also talk about a group lunch.
4:30 pm sunset at the Lake Mattamuskeet Observation Deck
The sun will be setting around 5:40 pm and the is several locations to create some amazing sunset photos.
Harris Steak & Seafood House is close by for dinner or make your way back to Plymoth.
Night Photography
Today is a new moon and if you are into night photography you might want to hang out after dinner.

Monday 23rd
Open. Sleep in and make you way back home, revisit your favorite spot, or come with me to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.
5:30 am Departure for about an hour drive to Wildlife Drive
We will spend the morning looking for Black Bear, Red Wolf, and any other critter that want their photo taken.
By 10:am I will be heading to Nags Head for a late breakfast and to dip my toe in the ocean before heading home.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, commits or suggestions.
Nelson Stegall

Event Coordinator: Nelson Stegall (Nelson Stegall photography.com)

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