This is an internal document for staff doing research on bodies of water along the Crystal Coast NC which are used for recreation and includes beaches, rivers, estauaries, sounds, lakes, and marshes. Although an internal document for staff, readers of this article can use the discussion form below to suggest topics related to this document, or to ask questions.
For geography purposes, the Crystal Coast of NC is an area generally referenced by all coastal areas from Swansboro, NC to Portsmouth Island including all of Carteret County in the eastern region of North Carolina.
Bodies of water referenced in this document includes the White Oak River, Bogue Sound, Newport River, Back Sound, Core Sound, South River, North River, Taylor Creek, Jarrett Bay, and many smaller waterways and estuaries extending from these larger waters.
Access points include Swansboro, Cedar Point, Cape Carteret, Emerald Isle, Salter Path, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Beaufort, Newport, Peletier, Stella, Harkers Island, and the communities in the down east region of Carteret County.
Sounds, Rivers, Estuaries, And Other Waterways
Bogue Sound NC: This area extends from Emerald Isle to Morehead City and separates Bogue Banks from the mainland. Currently, there are two bridges connecting Bogue Banks with the mainland, one in Emerald Isle and another in Atlantic Beach. This body of water along the Crystal Coast is a popular recreation center for fishing, boating, swimming, and accessing many of the barrier islands in Carteret County.
White Oak River is located in the western part of the county and borders Swansboro in Onslow County. Access points for this river are Cedar Point, Cape Carteret, Peletier, and Stella. This area is a major recreation area on the Crystal Coast for boating, kayaking, fishing, and nature watching.
Newport River is located in the central part of the county. The mouth of this river begins at the state port then winds it’s way between Morehead City and Mill Creek terminating in to two branches within the Croatan Forest near Newport.
Adams Creek begins as a branch off the Neuse River and heads directly towards the Newport River running along the unicorporated areas of Merrimon and North River, then turning in to Core Creek where it meet the Newport River. This waterway is part of the Intercoastal Waterway.
Core Sound, Back Sound, and The Straits all encompass bodies of water between down east portions of the county and the Cape Lookout National Seashore, and around Harkers Island and Shackleford Banks.
Taylor Creek is a notable waterway which separates Beaufort NC and the Rachel Carson Wildlife Reserve, Carrot Island, and Bird Shoal. This waterway is a very popular area for recreation consisting of boating, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing.
As for other Crystal Coast NC bodies of waters, there are numerous bays, creeks, inlets, rivers, and marshland which make up the very diverse nature of this coastal region.
Using the discussion form below, tell us about other waters along Carteret County and the Crystal Coast you’d like to see us write an article on, and tell us about your experiences there.
Which parts of the Intracoastal Waterway have you traveled by boat or sailboat?