holy crap I just learned about this place. There’s bear, wolves and alligators all in one place?! has anyone been?
I’ve only ever driven through there. We were trying to catch the ferry from Swanquarter to Ocracoke a few years ago. The winds were really strong so they canceled the ferry for the day and told us to drive all the way around to the Hatteras ferry terminal. The route is along 264 which goes through Alligator River and into Manteo. We ended up missing the last ferry out of Hatteras (the rest were canceled due to wind) and had to spend the night there. We woke up the next morning to catch the 6am ferry in the dark, riding across the inlet with 30mph winds rocking the ferry. They ran one more ferry out that morning and canceled the rest for that day too.
From what I remember, it was very remote and marshy. We saw very few signs of civilization anywhere. I believe there are sections of it that the Air Force uses for live fire exercises. Not sure there is much in way of camping in that area. If you aren’t local, your best bet would probably be to stay in Manteo or Nags Head and take a day trip for hiking, kayaking, etc. It looks like a very interesting place to explore and you could probably off-road into some very remote places there.