Explore North Carolina - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

North Carolina Map
mountain biking
3 days ago

Great places to explore the old dunes of the island.

Short wooded trail. Leads to excellent swimming area. Also has cool historic sites.

I loved this trail. It started thundering and we had three pups with us. The rain poured. I was still willing to finish to the end. We turned around at 1.2 miles approximately. There was a fork in the path. Did NOT know which way to go. Still do not know. I want to try again tomorrow so if anyone knows, it would be great information.

This was an interesting walk along a boardwalk with a view of the marsh. Among the finds here were red winged blackbirds, snowy egrets in abundance including one 30 feet from the boardwalk, crabs and an American Bald eagle. Trail ends at an elevated platform on the waters edge with views of the marsh, water and the light house. I would not call this a hike, but was a good walk to observe nature.

Short and mostly flat. Wear good shoes as there are lots of surface roots. After a rain the trail is muddy in spots. About halfway through there is a platform overlooking the sound. There wasn’t.a lot of wildlife out at the time except for an abundance of frogs along the trail.

Easy hike that takes you through a landscape you don’t expect to see. It starts out in a maritime forest before entering a schrub thicket and then onto sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. The sound and marsh views are wonderful. There is about a 30 foot climb straight up a sand dune when coming back from the sound. The visitor center at the trailhead is nice and has several interesting nature exhibits including fulgurite from lightening strikes on the sand dunes.

This was a fun, easy trail that children will love. To get to the trailhead though you will have to walk, bike or get a ride. There is no parking anywhere near the trailhead.

The trail starts in a maritime forest and has informational signs that tell the history of Springer’s Point, which was a popular hangout for Blackbeard the pirate. The gravesite of one of the prior owners of the point, who is buried next to his favorite horse, is on the trail to the beach.

The beach was busy but there was amazing sound/sea life including hermit crab, moon jellyfish and blue crab. The highlight was a Sea Nettle Jellyfish swimming just off the beach. On the way back we passed an Eastern Six-lined Racerunner. This was a wonderful nature trail.

Enjoyable loop trail through a maritime forest to a salt marsh with a view of the sound beyond it where several shorebirds feed. There is an elevated deck overlooking the marsh and sound that would be a good place to set up a spotting scope. Poison Ivy is abundant along the trail but the trail is wide and it isn’t much of a problem. I’ve never seen so many Fowler’s Toads in one place. They were hopping off the trail every twenty or thirty feet. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead.

If you are a birder you will love this trail. A boardwalk first takes you over a pond with several turtles that are used to humans and have no problem posing for pictures. Then the trail leads through a tunnel of wind blown trees before opening up to a chat path with wetlands on each side. Birds are everywhere and varied. At the end of the path is an elevated platform with great views of the surrounding wetlands. Along the chat path are viewing decks that allow better viewing of the wetlands.

Don’t overlook the visitor center at the start of the trail, which has free to use spotting scopes pointing at the wetland from big picture windows as well as several nature exhibits. They also sell birding books, t-shirts and related items. Looking out the visitor center window toward the ocean you can still see sticking out of the ocean the boiler of the shipwrecked steamer SS Oriental that sank in 1862.

This is a short out and back trail entirely on a boardwalk. It’s picturesque with the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the background. In fact, they were shooting a movie when we were there and we had to walk around the crew to get to the boardwalk. A Marsh Rabbit was munching grass along the boardwalk so close you could touch it. At the end of the boardwalk is an elevated platform the gives a wonderful view of the freshwater marsh and is excellent for birding.

White Ibis, Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets were abundant, although the wind kept the bird count down. For a small fee you can climb the Bodie Island Lighthouse. It is a busy trail, especially during the summer but worth the stop.

I recommend finding the trailhead by using the directions function on the app, which takes you to the trailhead on Ridge Road. There is a wide spot in the road at the start of the trailhead where two cars could probably fit. The trail goes through a maritime forest and is easy to follow to the sound, which is a short side trail out and back from the main trail. The sound is hard to see but you can see parts of it and the Wright Memorial Bridge.

If you continue going north on the trail once you have returned from the sound view side trail you will come to a wooden gate. Heading north past the wooden gate the trail is not marked and becomes nonexistent at parts. You will eventually come to a road and if you follow the road and plunge back into the forest where the gps map says you should, you will eventually come back to another wooden gate where the trail picks up again and is better marked. That trail will lead you around the loop and back to the trailhead. That said, I recommend not treating this as a loop trail but instead as a couple of out and back trails and turning around once you come to the wooden gates.

Very hard to find the trail. It is sparsely marked in some places & just sort of ends in other places. We accessed the trail from Covered Bridge Road, which is on some maps but isn't actually marked with a sign. Bug repellent is a must. It was an interesting hike but very frustrating to try to find the trailhead.

trail running
2 months ago

This is an easy hike/walk providing a nice mixture of ocean and wetland scenery. The first half offered decent shade as you meander through the trees. There were some flies that did their best to annoy, but really they weren't too bad. This was early May, so bug repellent may be a good idea in the summer months. The other half provided good ocean views, and a nice breeze.

great trail with steep section at sitting bear. Much easier drive if you start from sitting bear or hawksbill and go out to gingercake. bonus if you add hawksbill-and lunch there-on the way back

Nice easy hike, petty scenery. Great sunset views!

2 months ago

There wasn’t much parking at the trailhead on Ridge Rd. The trail to the sound was fairly well-marked by small signs and a light blue post. It was narrow and wet in some areas. The view of the sound was obstructed by trees. We preferred the trails in Nags Head and the Sandy Run boardwalk trail which were both in great shape and much more enjoyable.

Easy access and ability to connect to Celestial Point makes this the best!

Good, short trail. Had some really nice views of marsh and wading birds half way through the loop. Tons of fowler's toads and other little critters along the trail too. If you venture out in the late afternoon/evening, be prepared to be bitten.

Love the elevated platforms

Google maps is accurate, however when you turn off of the main road into Gingercake Acres, turn left at the red fire hydrant, make your next right and stay to the right until you pass house number 6951. After you pass the house, there’s a sharp turn to the left and a big rut in the road. You’ll need 4-wheel drive to get up this section. Or you can park at the opening in the road below house number 6951 and walk up about five minutes. You’ll come to a circular area and the trailhead is to the right. It is not marked. The trail is nice and has several openings for great views. We did encounter a wild boar on the trail so be alert and careful!

10 months ago

Easy walk with slight elevation for Kill Hill. Worth doing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

love the history..neat memorial and park

Friday, June 23, 2017

Locals said the trail was marked, which it was, but not thoroughly. Hard to follow, should have just stuck to the GPS map. Ended up on a private road going in the wrong direction at one point.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My daughter, grandchildren, and I do this every year. Always a fantastic time

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Love the OBX lighthouses!

nature trips
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Have been several times. Be sure to bring water during the summer.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Very cool to walk path of history.

scenic driving
Sunday, March 05, 2017

Great stretch along Hwy 12. We’ve been to the original placement of the Hatteras Light as well as to the new location – quite an engineering feat to move it. We make this part of the Hwy 12 Lighthouse run – great day trip for families. Lots to do, kayak, swim, surf, fly kites, fish, hike, stroll, birdwatch, build sandcastles… If you are on the Outer Banks, I highly recommend this trip and visiting Cape Hatteras National Seashore!

scenic driving
Sunday, March 05, 2017

Oregon Inlet is an inlet along North Carolina's Outer Banks. It joins the Pamlico Sound with the Atlantic Ocean and separates Bodie Island from Pea Island, which are connected by the 2.5 mile Herbert C. Bonner Bridge that spans the inlet. As one of the few access points to the ocean along this stretch of coast, Oregon Inlet is a major departure point for charter fishing trips, with a nearby harbor serving as the base for many large boats that travel miles out towards the Gulf Stream almost every day. The inlet is also the location of a U.S. Coast Guard station [ref Wikipedia]. Great place to check what's biting when the boats come into the docks, fun to do some crabbing next to the dock. We stop by here every time we do the lighthouse run - Currituck to Wright Brothers Memorial to Bodie Island to Cape Hatteras to Okracoke to Cape Lookout and there be ferries involved too. Great day trip along Hwy 12! LOVE the OBX!

Load More