The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival, a six-day celebration of the wild side in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, is set for Nov. 9-14.
The festival includes a wide variety of programs designed for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, paddlers — and this year — an increased number of photography programs to be taught by professionals. Classes have been designed for both the skilled and not-so-practiced, as well as some programs for children and/or families.
The region offers some of the country’s best paddling for canoe and kayak enthusiasts. From tannin-fed cypress swamps to endless marsh mazes, it is possible to paddle the region for a lifetime yet still study charts at night, discovering unexplored areas.
Registration currently is open for water trips, which will be guided by leaders who are familiar with the areas. Physical demands range from open water with wind exposure, to short distances with excellent wind protection.
Several different paddling trips are planned and include the Kitty Hawk Bay sunset kayak tour that will allow participants to enjoy a classic Carolina sunset over the bay while navigating through tall cord grass fields and listening for the mysterious sounds of the night marsh.
The backcountry expedition combines "off-road" four-wheel-drive and kayaking into an eco-tour that explores 30 miles of beach and backcountry lanes by SUV to paddle the northern Currituck waterways from inside the Spanish Mustang Reserve. Trained naturalists discuss local ecology, history and shore life.
Alligator River night canoe tours allow canoeists to explore the narrow, winding creek through the heart of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Explore the world of the American Alligator while paddling out from Buffalo City into Milltail Creek. Bring a flashlight.
This year’s keynote dinner will be at the Aquarium on Roanoake Island. Catered by Kelly’s Restaurant, the keynote address will be presented by author, naturalist and muscian Bill Thompson. The cost of the keynote dinner is $35 and registration is required. Dinner includes beer, wine and non-alcohol beverages.
This festival is traditionally set during the shoulder season when rates are lower for accommodations, traffic is light and the weather is mild.
To learn more about the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival, call 252-216-9464 or go to www.wingsoverwater.org.