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Shackleford Banks

Cape Lookout, NC 28531, USA
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Observe the Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast Cape Lookout North Carolina United States

Observe the Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast

On a recent media trip, I visited several cities of the Crystal Coast, a stretch of coastline along the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Part of this coastline, called the Cape Lookout National Seashore, is protected by the National Park Service. Shackleford Banks is an island that falls under this protected coastline, and is residence to a herd of wild horses descended from Spanish mustangs left by settlers centuries ago. You can see the horses up close from a ferry boat that goes from Beaufort or Harkers Island to the Cape Lookout lighthouse, going right by Shackleford Banks where the horses graze along the marshy banks. They're gorgeous and have a fascinating story, surviving by adapting to harsh conditions on the island. Take a camera with a good lenses for up-close shots; always maintain a safe distance from the horses!

Nearby in Beaufort, NC, there is a farm that houses horses rescued from the island for health reasons. You can visit the farm and meet the horses, and sometimes even adopt one! The farm and the island herd are supported by the Carolyn Mason Foundation for Shackleford Banks Horses. They welcome donations to maintain the farm and their efforts to manage the horses and educate the public about them.

This trip was provided by the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority and Bluewater Vacation Rentals. Please visit www.CrystalCoastNC.org to learn more about what this darling piece of North Carolina has to offer! #MyCrystalCoast