What we love…Kayaking at Topsail Island
Topsail Island’s Permuda Island Coastal Reserve is the perfect kayaking and SUP destination in North Carolina
Why we love it…
The Permuda Island creates a natural barrier between the heavily-trafficked Intracoastal Waterway, and the much-visited Topsail Island. This creates a fantastic area for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, with calm waters, and almost zero motor boat traffic. Once you kayak into the calm waters of Stump Sound, you are lost in the sights and sounds of the salt marsh.
And you’re not just paddling through any salt marsh.
Stump Sound has been designated an Outstanding Water Resource by the NC Division of Water Quality to help maintain the health of the sound and the shellfish that live there. There are many clam gardens and oyster beds that lead the way to Permuda Island.
Permuda Island was acquired by the state in 1987 and is one of 10 sites that make up the NC Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve. This allows Permuda Island to be a natural outdoor laboratory where scientists, students and the general public can learn about coastal processes. More information can be found here, or by taking one of Paddle NC’s eco-tours.
Want to see some cool stuff from a SUP?
And I’m not just talking about that fantastic marsh mud that we all know and love! The calm waters are great for beginners and experts alike! A stand-up paddleboard allows you to see the water from a whole different perspective, enabling you to see rays, fish, turtles and birds from your higher vantage point. Because the water is shallow and undisturbed, you can paddle right over lots of animals that you normally wouldn’t even see!
Know before you go…
Permuda Island and Stump Sound are great for shellfish to grow in, but shellfish aren’t so great for our feet. Wear shoes if you’re planning to get out of your boat, and even if you’re not. That will help protect your tootsies, because there’s not better way to ruin your vacation than with an oyster cut to the toe!
Take your camera. I have seen some of the coolest things out here while paddling: Bald Eagles and Osprey fighting over territory, the famous Topsail Mud Man (pictured above), sea turtles popping their heads up, and much more.
Visit Paddle NC at Topsail Island. We’re located across the street from Topsail Beach Access #2, just a short paddle from Permuda Island. We’d love to get you out on the water!