Carolina's Wild Horses|
Horses of the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve (cont'd.)
The reserve is managed by the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. Two areas - Middle Marshes and Horse Island - are protected nesting sites and are off limits to visitors. That in no way limits the diversity of wildlife that can be seen here, nor does it affect the opportunities to view the horses.
The horses seem
very tolerant of visitors, so long as you keep your distance. It's
easy to spend hours observing their daily activities, since they carry
on with their natural behaviors, even when being watched. It's quite
a sight to see the herd galloping across the tidal flats, with water
splashing and manes flying. It's not even unusual to catch the stallions
sparring, or even outright fighting. Two or three hours of quiet observation
can provide visitors with some interesting sights and photographic
Viewing wild horses from water level in a kayak is an experience not easily found anywhere else. It's a unique perspective that can provide photographic opportunities for some real conversation pieces. With or without photos, the experience alone is worth the effort.
From a kayak, it's
possible to gain close approaches to birds not so easily achieved
by other means, and certainly not with the perspective and views available
on such an expansive tidal marsh.
For the serious
nature photographer, the reserve certainly provides some worthwhile
opportunities. A few hours spent here will surely bring multiple scenarios
for great photos, whether for the amateur or professional. Don't leave
your camera behind. You will want to take advantage of all the opportunities
the reserve has to offer.
There is one more
important thing to keep in mind - your safety, and the safety of the
wild horses. There are rules to follow which are not only good advice,
they are the official regulations. Get the right information straight
from the "horses mouth" by reading this important
How Do I Get There and
See the Beaufort/Rachel Carson Reserve Horses?
Resources about the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve:
information brochure and map- PDF
article on the reserve
Official Information FAQs:
Safety Rules and Regulations
of Beaufort Feral Horses Ordinance
All The Cool Facts about the Wild Horses