Alligator River Route


  • DesignationState Byway
  • LocationNC
  • Length70.7 miles
Statewide Byway Partners
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
Alligator River Route


The Alligator River Route allows motorists to explore some of coastal North Carolina’s most rural areas as it travels through expansive wetlands and open farmlands. Motorists begin their excursion by crossing North Carolina’s largest natural lake, Lake Mattamuskeet, a 50,000-acre natural freshwater lake first visited by English explorers in 1585 during one of Sir Walter Raleigh’s expeditions. As travelers venture north from the lake, they will dive in and out of swamps and low farmlands from Fairfield to Columbia. An area of straight marsh or slough named the Big Savannah covers the area from Columbia to Alligator. When traveling through Alligator, keep an eye out for wildlife in or near the drainage canals bordering the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established to protect a unique pocosin habitat and restore wetlands for native and endangered species. Not only do travelers get to admire the abundant wildlife that inhabits the area, but they also get to visit and explore small towns and communities that are the embodiment of North Carolina’s rich history, such as Columbia, Mann’s Harbor, or Roanoke Island.

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