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Back Sound In Carteret County NC Near Harkers Island And Shackleford Banks

This is a discussion and information article on Back Sound in Carteret County NC near Harkers Island, Shackleford Banks, North River, and the Core Sound. Readers are encouraged to share this document on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit so that others interested in travel and tourism can learn more about this local area.

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This article in a continuation on our series of documenting demographics and data on local county waterways within the NC coastal region.

Map demographics and data
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News Reports

This news section is maintained to document information on Back Sound received after publication. Readers can review our countywide general news reports here.

Local Demographics, Data, And Information

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Back Sound NC is a prominent body of water heavily trafficked by boats, sailboats, and jet skis in the spring, summer, and early fall months. This area is a major thoroughfare for people traveling to Cape Lookout National Seashore and Shackleford Banks from places like Taylors Creek, North River, Harkers Island, and down east communities such as Davis, Stacy, Seal Level, and Williston via the Core Sound. All of these landmarks border the sound.

This body of water is roughly 2.57 miles in width running from south to north, and 4.92 miles in length running east to west.

The Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge is another prominent landmark that borders this body of water.

Navigation by boat, sailboats, and jet skis can be tricky in this area as sandbars and shoals are constantly shifting and forming related to tropical storms, hurricanes, and nor’easters (especially near Shackleford Banks). The Coast Guard and other agencies spend a considerable amount of time maintaining this area for boat traffic and updating channels used for navigation.

This local area is located in the 252 area code.

For up to the minute weather conditions in this area, please review our weather page.

This body of water in Carteret County NC is used by local passenger ferry boat operations taking tourist to and from Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout from Harkers Island and Beaufort.


This section is maintained for ongoing discussions centered around places to see and things to do along Back Sound NC, including discussions on navigation routes, news, weather, and other demographic data someone travelling this area by boat may need to know.

Where are public boat ramps located along Taylors Creek, North River, Harkers Island, and down east communities that people can use to access this area?

What types of recreational fishing, commercial fishing, and harvesting of shellfish like shrimp, oysters, and clams happen in this waterway? What types of fish are routinely caught in this sound?

Other than landmarks we mentioned in this article, what are some other barrier islands directly accessible by this body of water which are popular for tourism and travel?

What marine radio frequencies are commonly used by boaters in this area?

Where are some unique areas along this sound that kayaks and canoes can be used to explore smaller bodies of water along the banks of this area?

What types of marine wildlife and natural habitats are found in this area?

As someone who works for a company responsible for creating, maintaining, and dredging in this sound, what is unique about this body of water? How often is this area maintained?

What are some special considerations and concerns someone needs to know about navigating this body of water for the first time?

What are some exact distances and traveling times from other prominent areas in Carteret County that we did not mention in this area?

What are some GPS coordinates to unique places along Back Sound near Cape Lookout and Harkers Island?

What are some special considerations boaters need to be aware of when navigating this sound during low tide versus high tide?

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Filed: Waterways in Eastern NC

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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