Want to ask a question? Click here

What is Zeke’s Island?

Ben Steelman

A sandy island in the Cape Fear River basin, lying opposite Snow Marsh in southeastern Brunswick County, Zeke’s Island is bounded by Federal Point to the north, Smith (Bald Head Island) to the south, the Cape Fear channel to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

Origin of the name is obscure. When first noted on U.S. Coast Survey maps in 1851, it was labeled “Zeek’s Island.” The “Zeke’s” spelling seems to have taken root in the early 1900s.

Lying some 22 miles south of Wilmington, Zeke’s Island is part of an 1,100-acre complex (including North Island and No Name Island) that is part the N.C National Estuarine Research Reserve. The area is surrounding by extensive marshes and tidal flats. Shrimp, crabs, clams and oysters use the nearby estuary as a nursery. Loggerhead and green sea turtles nest here, and the island is a habitat for white ibis, great blue herons, dunlins, black-bellied plovers, red-tailed hawks, ospreys and short-billed dowitchers. Fiddler crabs are common on the island, and bottle-nosed dolphins can often be spotted offshore.

Most of Zeke’s Island is only a few feet above sea level, although North Island has some dunes that reach up to 20 feet in height.

During low tide, Zeke’s Island can be reached on feet by walking on The Rocks, the artificial breakwater constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers after the Civil War to close New Inlet. (The elder Henry Bacon, father of the architect of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, was the engineer for this project.) Authorities urge caution to pedestrians, though, as the rocks are slippery and in poor condition at some points, and people may not be able to return on foot once the tide comes in. Visitors often use the island for fishing, birding and sunbathing.

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!

Bookmark and Share

Ask a question

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.

Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Your question:

Post a comment

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.

Your comment: