A mare and colt-reported to be less than three days old. Seen on Corolla Wild Horse tour.

There are so many things to do on the Outer Banks that sometimes we run out of adjectives to describe how everything. A lot of what we have to do other places have as well, it’s just that it’s inevitably better here.

There is one activity that, though, that is truly unique to the Outer Banks. The Colonial Mustangs of Corolla only live in one place and the only way to see them is to head up the beach, past the pavement at the end of NC12 and drive on up to Carova.

Not everyone has a 4WD vehicle and even so, unless they’re on the beach, it may be tough to find them. That’s where a tour with experienced tour guides comes in handy.

We spent a morning recently with Corolla Outback Adventures. They’ve been running tours up the beach since 1962, so they’re probably the original tour service.

Our tour guide, John Gates, was great and we saw plenty of horses, but we’re not giving a specific recommendation to any one business because there are a number of them.

The better tour guides take the time to talk about the history of the area. Pointing out the tree stumps that poke out of the sand, the geologic history of the Outer Banks becomes clear; during the most powerful storms, the ocean washes over the barrier island, picking up sand from the eastern beach and depositing in on the western side. Over time whole forests become a part of the shoreline.

We took a moment to look at the Wash Woods Lifesaving Station, a relic from predecessors of the US Coast Guard, when surfmen put to sea in wooden boats to save the lives of mariners on sinking ships.

The tours are typically about two hours and a great way for families to spend some time together.

For anyone heading up the 4WD area to look for the wild horses on their own, remember: you must stay a minimum of 50’ away from the horses.