Croatan National Forest Trails is a 31 mile trail located near Newport, NC. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking and trail running.
Great trail. If you are coming from Newport you can park at the county dump and hop right on the trail from the road. I'm not sure why the directions here send you a mile away from the trail.
Boardwalks are awesome, chances to see wildlife are plenty, and the trail is never crowded
This is the Southern section of the Neusiok Trail. It starts at Oyster Point and go all the way to Cherry Branch road. It intersects many roads so you can do sections. May want to arrange to drop a car or do round trips. Lots of ticks, but I think I picked them up when I accidentally got off the main path and ended up on an animal trail. Here is a description from activerain.com.
Difficulty: Moderately easy on some short trail sections. The entire trail is more difficult with uneven terrain.
Length: 22 miles
Facilities: Restrooms and campgrounds at Recreation Area. 2 open front shelters with fire pits.
Directions: Pine Cliff Recreation Area is located off Cherry Branch Road and can be reached off of NC 101. Mill Creek Road entrance is near the Newport River.
Wooden bridges over some low-lying areas. Several miles of dry trail are available. "Neusiok" is the name of a Native American tribe that inhabited the banks of the Neuse River. Many reminders of human history: barrels, jars and copper coils-the remainders of stills blown up by law enforcement. Several old graves along the trail. Carnivorous plants such as the Venus fly trap and a variety of orchids. Views of the Neuse and Newport Rivers. Trail winds through hardwood ridges, pine flat woods, cypress swamps, pocosins and salt marsh. Wildlife viewing includes songbirds, wild turkeys, hawks, ospreys, eagles, ducks, geese, woodpeckers, bobcat, white-tailed deer, raccoons and opossum. Watch for venomous snakes and alligators in NW region of trail.