Ocracoke NC, Silver Lake

Ocracoke is an island located in Hyde County in North Carolina. The Island holds a lot of history. It is the location where the pirate Blackbeard succumbed to his death. The Ocracoke Harbor is also known as Silver Lake Harbor. It is to the south of Ocracoke Island. It is a man-made harbor. Ocracoke Harbor connects the Ocracoke inlet to the Pamlico Sound. Water vessels have used the harbor for hundreds of years.

History

The Hatteras Indians used the island as hunting and fishing grounds. The island was generally not occupied until 1585. This was when Sir Walter Raleigh encountered it. Raleigh’s ship was stuck in a sand bar which forced them to land on the island for repairs.

Attempts to settle on the island were thwarted by the pirates who frequented the area. One great pirate of the time was Edward Teach. He was commonly known as Blackbeard. He used to hide out on the grounds of the Springer’s Point Nature Preserve. Blackbeard was killed in a 1718 battle with troops from Virginia.

Ocracoke Harbor

The pirate population was wiped out in the early 1800s. The area was discovered by schooner specialists. Skilled captains would navigate the Ocracoke Inlet and Pamlico Sound. These acted as channels to the mainland. The harbor was a busy port. Goods going to the East Coast would pass through the docks. This contributed to the construction of warehouses along the coastline.
 
Ports that were easier to navigate opened up in the following years. This made the Ocracoke harbor lose its prominence. By the 20th century, the harbor had lost the shipping industry. It was kept in business by the United States Lifesaving Service. They manned the harbor and patrolled the beaches. It provided some business for locals, though little.
 
Tourism developed by the mid-1900s and the harbor came to life once more. Businesses popped up in and around the harbor as visitors flocked the location. Ocracoke attracts people with its small-town charm and rustic indigenous character. There are breathtaking views and amazing experiences in store for all.
 
This is the busiest place on the whole island. Most of the activities to be enjoyed by visitors are found around Ocracoke Harbor. The harbor has small sections of saltwater that resemble lagoons. They are surrounded by many man-made structures, including;
 
· Docks
 
· Restaurants
 
· Shops
 
· Marinas
 
· Motels
 
The harbor is a great attraction for vacationers in North Carolina and the Outer Banks.

Fort Ocracoke

The fort was constructed by the confederates. This was when the American Civil War was starting. The fort is in the Ocracoke inlet. It sits on beacon Island, two miles from Ocracoke village. It was used by the confederates to house their troops and weapons. Almost 500 confederate troops were stationed in the area.

When the Union troops won in 1861, the Confederates were forced to abandon the fort. In their hurry to leave, there was a large amount of destruction done to the fort. Union forces then wrecked in a month later.

Hurricanes in the area continued in the destruction of the fort. Beacon Island was submerged in 1933 when hurricanes hit the area.

Remains of the fort were relocated and identified in 1998. This was by the Surface Interval Diving Company.

Attractions

There are many activities that tourists can take part in and around Silver Lake Harbor. The area has fantastic beaches and recreational opportunities for all ages. Some of the activities include;

1. Shops, Restaurants, and Businesses

The waterfront is full of opportunities to shop and explore. Avid shoppers can find valuable souvenirs from the chic boutiques in the area. There are local art galleries and water sport shops. There is also one of the oldest general stores on the island.

There are 2 open-air restaurants on the docks. Both restaurants have a wide range of food and drink options. There are many other restaurants that offer a variety of seafood dinners.

2. Off-the-docks adventure

There are many activities to discover. These include local tours, fishing excursions, and kayaking. The area has water-based touring where fishing companies take you on a tour as you fish. There are small kiosks that accept reservations.

3. Stands along the harbor

Besides the businesses at the harbor, there are many small stands offering all kinds of things. You can rent bicycles and kayaks at the stands. You will also find ice cream, frozen lemonade, and many other quick treats.

4. Picnics

Constructed along the less populated areas of the harbor are picnic tables and benches. These are placed strategically to give an incredible view of the water. Those who prefer people watching will enjoy the positioning of the picnic section. The view is made better with the presence of many boats and wildlife. The harbor is populated with herring gulls, pelicans, and cormorants.

The biggest attraction to the Silver Lake Harbor are the sunsets. The lake offers a breathtaking view each evening as the sun’s rays are reflected on the water. The evening view is coupled with all the boats docked at the harbor. The waterfront sunset should be experienced by all visitors to Ocracoke Island.

Accommodations

There are several small hotels around the harbor. Most of the hotels have waterfront rooms and balconies. These allow guests to enjoy the scenes in their comfort.

The area also features a few bed and breakfasts, weekly villas, and small inns. Some of these are as old as Ocracoke village. There are vacation rentals with cozy bedrooms and private kitchens.

Ocracoke village has a campground for those who prefer to sleep in the wild.

Since the 18th century, Ocracoke Harbor has sustained the community of Ocracoke. The region has remained populated since this time. The harbor is a popular location for vacationers and traveling mariners. It is a place of commerce and has supported the Ocracoke economy for centuries. It is a recreational spot for visitors and locals alike. The views are incredible and a reflection of what the town has to offer visitors and residents alike.