Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge
At 27,111 acres, the Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge component is both the largest single property in the Coastal Reserve and its only inland site. Located approximately 15 miles south of Columbia in Tyrrell County, the site is situated between Alligator River and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges.
This Reserve site is part of the East Dismal Swamp, a wetlands complex that encompasses more than 320,000 acres in Dare, Tyrrell, and Washington counties. The majority of the site contains non-riverine swamp forest, peatland Atlantic white cedar forest, and pond pine woodlands.
Scattered remnant bald cypress and Atlantic white cedar stands occur in deep organic soils, while sweet gum grows in the rare mineral soils and black needle rush rims the perimeter of the site. Most of the oldest Atlantic white cedar forest has been cut, but there is a 30-year-old area of about 4000 acres that represents the most extensive contiguous example of this forest type in the state. Buckridge maintains habitat for several rare, threatened, or endangered species. Confirmed rare species on site include the red wolf, red-cockaded woodpecker, bald eagle, American alligator, timber rattlesnake, and pigmy rattlesnake. Habitat for Atlantic and shortnose sturgeons, and high priority neotropical migrant birds is also maintained at Buckridge. Certain migratory birds, such as the black-throated green warbler, Swainson’s warbler, and prothonotary warblers, are dependent on southeastern-forested wetlands of the coastal plain for breeding.
Getting to the site
The Buckridge site may be accessed by U.S. 64, which connects with N.C. 94 in Columbia. Traveling south on N.C. 94, there are three routes that will give a visitor access to different portions of the site, each terminates to a boat landing. Approximately ten miles down N.C. 94 is the intersection with Frying Pan Road that leads to Frying Pan Landing. Five miles farther on N.C. 94 the intersection with Gum Neck Road leads to a series of local roads. The western-most terminus of this network is Grapevine Landing while the southern end is Gum Neck Landing. Grapevine landing is an informal boat ramp, but the road leading to it bisects much of the Reserve and offers the easiest way to get a glimpse of Buckridge for most visitors. The site may also be visited by boat from the Alligator River.
Visiting the site
The site is very remote and no formal facilities currently exist. Hiking along the existing roads and boating along the shoreline are the best ways to observe the natural features. Insect repellant is recommended during the warm months. Extra care should be taken while hiking during the peak hunting season – mid-October through December. Buckridge is part of the N.C. Game Lands program, and regulations and details can be found at www.ncwildlife.org.
Management Documents and Partners