Monday, September 27, 2010

The Wild Horses of Corolla

We arrived in Kitty Hawk with just enough time to say hello to the ocean before the sun went down.

Next day, a visit to Currituck lighthouse.

Then my dear, dear, sweet husband took us up to Corolla to see the wild horses. He knew this was something I have wanted to do for a long time. The horses are in a wildlife refuge with no roads, only sand to drive on, so you can drive your own four-wheel-drive or pay an exorbitant amount to take a tour. Thankfully, we were driving the truck instead of the van, because there's no way we'd be paying the hundreds they were asking.

After driving along the beach for several miles, we decided to head inland. Narrow sand tracks going every which way, big puddles, branches hitting and scraping the truck, searching for wild horses - this was an adventure!

We reached the Virginia/NorthCarolina state line with its big fence and had to turn around. No horses yet.

Finally, we spotted three. . .

. . .and then three more. . .

. . . in somebody's yard?

Walking down the road?

What happened to the wild horses?

Where are the horses running down the beach, manes flying in the wind?

What kind of wildlife refuge has a bunch of houses and people? We even saw new houses being built. Oh well. You know what? We had a great time anyway. It was fun driving around looking for horses. And I am glad I finally got to see the wild horses. They were pretty.

Good man.

Good truck.


  1. Oh, what a wonderful vacation! What a blessing to your family (and thanks for sharing it with us too!)

  2. Oh Sarah! That looks like so much fun... even if it was a slightly strange wildlife refuge/housing development sort of place. I have always wanted to see the wild horses too!
    I've enjoyed your vacation so much! Thanks for posting all of this.

  3. That reminds me...
    When Eric and I went to the west coast a long time ago we drove up and down PC1 over a dozen times, looking for this lighthouse that was on the map. The landscape was beautiful, cliffs and rocks there (Norhtern California), and finally I was out taking pictures of the beauty at one particular place, and turned around and there was this lighthouse - about six feet tall. What!!?

    I love wild horses, too - when we went out to the west desert three years ago we watched for (truly wild) mustangs, but we never saw any.
    Hopefully some day!!

  4. Stephanie, I'm dreaming of a trip out west to see those horses too.
    Funny lighthouse story.

  5. Oh how I miss NC! I'm from the mountains but the Outer Banks are where we spent vacations and I love it there...

  6. Hi! Just wanted to clarify that where the wild horses reside is NOT a wildlife refuge. They have access to 7,544 acres. 70% of that land is privately owned by individuals and corporations. The other 30% is owned by US Fish & Wildlife Service as the Currituck Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has fenced the horses out of 278 acres of their land and consider the wild horses a feral invasive species. As to running wild on the beach, the reality is that a wild horse spends the bulk of its time grazing behind the dunes. They come out on the beach to escape the flies during a west wind in the summer - otherwise - they have no need to be on the beach. Because they see thousands of tourists during the summer, they are tolerant of humans - but they are not tame. It is actually illegal to get within 50 feet of a wild horse or to feed it. For more information go to Thanks!

  7. Those horses are marketed as wild and the pictures on brochures and the internet give the illusion of horses in a wild beach/dune environment. As much as we enjoyed the experience, I feel sorry for the people that pay $125 each to see feral horses in some rich guy's yard.