Cedar Island, North Carolina

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Not to be confused with Cedar Point, North Carolina.

Cedar Island is an island and a small coastal unincorporated community in eastern North Carolina and some folks believe that the area has a connection to the Roanoke Lost Colony of the late 16th century. Cedar Island is located in Cedar Island Township, Carteret County and was populated with local Native Americans prior to European settlers arriving sometime in the 18th century or possibly before. It is also the location of the state ferry transportation system dock where travel can be made across Pamlico Sound to the island and village of Ocracoke in Hyde County.


There are only 2 main roads on Cedar Island, Cedar Island Rd (NC Route 12) and Lola Rd. Northbound Route 12 is the only way to drive to Cedar Island without using a ferry connection. Southbound NC 12 continues from the ferry terminal across Cedar island to meet with US 70 on the mainland near the community of Sea Level. Motorists traveling north on NC 12 board the ferry to Ocracoke Island from Cedar Island.


In 2005, the population of Cedar Island was about 350. Many residents are fishermen; although fishing is declining in the area. The other major employer is the North Carolina Ferry System. There are three churches on the island: Methodist, Free Will Baptist, and Primitive Baptist. The Methodist and Free Will Baptist maintain regular meetings and Sunday services.

Cedar Island is about 4 miles (6.4 km) long, extending from the "Lola" village, down the bay, on the southeast end near the Core Sound and Lewis Creek, up to the Ferry Station at the north side of the island, bordering Pamlico Sound. The main village of Cedar Island, formerly known as "Roe" is located along the north central portion of the island. There is a fisherman's harbor in this area.

Businesses on the island are:restaurant-motel-campground, "The Driftwood", and a full-service grocery, hardware, and convenience store, "Island's Choice", a wholesale-retail fish company (Quality Seafood), a hair styling salon, a horse riding stable, several vacation cottages for rent, and a post office.

Cedar Island has sandy beaches backed up against stands of juniper (mistaken by early settlers for cedars) and pine. More than half of Cedar Island belongs to the (Federal) Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is open for hiking and has a headquarters and information kiosk at the south end of the island, near the end of Lola Road.

There are at least 2 public boat ramps. One is at the very end of Lola Rd, at Lewis Creek which leads out to Cedar Island Bay and Core Sound. Another is located just to the right, or east of the Ferry Station at the North end of the island.

Cedar Island has good weather most of the year, cooler than inland areas, in the summer, and warmer than inland areas in the winter, but is occasionally hit by hurricanes in the fall. Temperatures do not often fall below freezing in the winter, nor do they often rise above 90 degrees in the summer. Except for Hurricanes, rainfall is usually sufficient for gardens and lawns, and fairly even throughout the year. Mosquitos are a major pest in the summer, due to the immense amount of woods and marsh on the island.

Neighboring communities[edit]

  • Atlantic - 10 miles (16 km) south
  • Sea Level - 10 miles (16 km) southwest on NC 12
  • Ocracoke - 23 miles (37 km) northeast across Pamlico Sound
  • Portsmouth - 20 miles (32 km) east across Core Sound
  • Beaufort - 35 miles (56 km) southwest on NC 12 & US 70
  • Swan Quarter - north across Pamlico Sound
  • Stacy - 12 miles (19 km) south on NC 12 & US 70
  • Davis - 16 miles (26 km) south on NC 12 & US 70
  • Morehead City - 38 miles (61 km) southwest on NC 12 & US 70

Coordinates: 35°00′30″N 76°18′58″W / 35.00833°N 76.31611°W / 35.00833; -76.31611