Seeing the Wild Horses on the OBX
Horses and History
One of the more popular and unique attractions out on the OBX is seeing the wild horses. Spanish Mustangs to be exact. History says that this herd descends from a herd left behind by Spanish Explorers back hundreds of years ago. Alternatively, they may have swam ashore after a shipwreck. I am not sure how large the original herd may have been, but the way the Northern Outer Banks is isolated, that definitely allows for the herd to thrive and multiply. By the way, when I say “Northern Outer Banks” I mean Currituck County, NC. Specifically, the towns of Corolla and Carova. The big question…how do you go about seeing the wild horses on the OBX?!
Two Ways to See the Horses
1) Tour the area on your own.This area of Corolla and into Carova is accessed at the end of a beach access. The pavement ends at the North end of Hwy 12 and that’s where the sand and beach access begins. You will either need to rent a 4×4 or drive your own 4×4 out onto the beach there and cruise around looking for horses. The beach access to the Virginia State line in Carova is about 12 miles. If you move away from the beach, you can cruise amongst the subdivision and homes that are only accessible by 4×4 vehicles. You can often spot horses hanging out in the front yards of homes there. Remember the golden rule though.
2) Partake in a guided tour of the area. There are a few wild horse tour companies that will be happy to take you on a tour and show you some horses and give you some color around the area and famous folks who live there, etc. Their vehicles are often jacked up off road vehicles allowing 10-15 people the ability to go along for the ride. The cost runs from about $50 on up, per person, depending on the time of year. Slightly lower for children. If you do decide to book a tour, book well in advance as these tours do tend to sell out. Especially during peak seasons and times.
Parting Thoughts and Notes
You must remain a minimum of 50 ft away from horses. This is the LAW. If caught violating this law, you will be cited for it. It may seem like a frivolous law and rule, but these are wild animals. You do not want to be on the other end of one of their kicks or bites. These horses will fight with one another. You don’t want to be in the middle of that.
Also, navigating the beach with anything less than a 4×4 is strongly discouraged. I have seen numerous pictures and videos of people getting stuck because they thought their Honda Civic was a good offroad vehicle. If you do venture out onto the sand, also remember to air down your tires to 20psi. As soon as possible after exiting the beach, you can air back up to your normal pressure again. Airing down of tires on sand allows for greater traction without sinking.
Other activities outside of horse watching: https://mvillaobx.com/our-obx-top-10/
We look forward to having you as our guests!