Explore the most popular river trails in Croatan National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
24 days ago

I walk portions of this trail a couple times a week. It is beautiful, and the periodic streams that cross the trail are great for the dogs. I did encounter a very large black bear crossing the Forest Road on the ride into Haywood Landing about a week ago, luckily I was in my truck at the time. Black bears do not tend to be aggressive so I have continued to hike the trail but with bear spray :)

I enjoyed in the cold weather, i dont think i would ever hike this when its warm out or bug season This section had some impressive boardwalks.

App didn’t follow trail but the views were pretty good and had Military jets flying over head a few times.

I enjoy this trail. It is dog friendly, and very easy. I, unfortunately, have only been able to go on the shorter section because of my wife, but it's a good trail for physical therapy. easy, small inclies, and you have the option to walk on sand or dirt almost the whole time.

Great trail decent hills for Eastern North Carolina. Trail is really easy to follow and well kept.

2 months ago

Local beginner hiker and I just found this trail. I am in love. It is definitely muddy after the rain and I would not call it stroller or wheelchair friendly. Especially the northern section along the river. There is definitely erosion after the recent storms. Not that I minded any of that and can’t wait to do the entire trail. I like that I can hop on in several different areas when I am out solo and for just a few hours. Using my poles I got quite the workout even on the flat areas. Enjoy!!

backpacking
2 months ago

Had a blast on this trail, it is very diverse in the different biomes that you experience. The northern half is very beautiful running along the beach for a few miles, it also has a good amount of elevation change. The southern half is a little easier however if you go after there has been rain be careful of mile 5-4 or 4-5, depending on the direction you are going, it is extremely wet and muddy. The camps are well spaced apart and are great spots to set up for the night.

Nice as long as stay along beach. Went inland and the mosquitos were horrendous. and took wrong turn somewhere and ended up walking along road

Went at end of fall colors with family. Flat and follows along the river so pretty and relaxing nature hike. Fall colors looked great reflecting in river

The views are absolutely beautiful. Very peaceful hike. Did not find it to be too challenging but just the right amount of a work out. Well worth the visit even if you don't do the whole trail.

Very nice walk along the river. We only ran into a few people along the way so not terribly busy. The jets flying overhead can get noisy but it's also kind of neat to see. We mostly stuck to the beach but when we were on the trail it seemed well established. My dogs loved it and were good and tired after.

Great overnight backpacking trail.

Our troop did the entire 22 mile trail on Jan 13-14. We camped halfway along the trail around Dogwood Shelter as the shelter was occupied. The first half of the trail was very challenging to stay dry as there was a lot of water from the recent snow and rain prior to our arrival. Bridged walkways were very slick which provided a balancing challenge with a 45lb pack. One part of the trail was completely flooded and it was difficult to get around without your shoes getting wet. The second half was worse and it got to a point where we just gave up trying to stay dry and just trudge through the water to keep our pace. All in all it is a nice trail to hike if it’s a drought during the winter. I would like to come back when it’s not so water logged.

hiking
4 months ago

Clint was correct not a well traveled trail but an awesome one. Never knew eastern Carolina had hills. Great trail to give you feeling your closer to the foothills. I am glad I went in a cold day because I’m sure it’s mosquito heaven in warm months. Beautiful overlooks and views of waterways. Need to mention its access is on MCAS Cherry Point so you must have proper military ID to access

Have walked this several times and it's an easy hike. It can be isolated at times & we've heard wildlife when it's late afternoon (never seen any gators though). Great for dogs and kids, easy hike. Can get really muddy and have sitting water in spots, so be aware when bringing kids.

The NNW portion of the “described” trail started to get really thick and completely disappeared at times. I found myself trudging through semi-thick brush trying to find the unmarked trails of the area. I also walked up on a few tree stands which kinda worried me as well, just knowing that hunters are in the area. The official marked trail is only about 1/2 mile loop but there are a few other trails that venture off beyond the trail. If you want to hike this trail I would highly recommend that you plan an early trip, because if you venture off the main trail you may find yourself hiking in the dark like me and my family! If this trail were to be extended and marked off better I would definitely give it a higher ranking, love the large creek that’s along the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail is both the Northern and Southern Piranha Pit Trails in one 4 mile loop. The northern trail is mostly designated for mountain biking but hiking and trail running is allowed so expect several elevation changes along the way. There are several interconnecting trails throughout but most of the outer trail can be navigated by paying close attention to the trail blazes/markings along the way. Most of the northern section has trail markers for the mountain bikers to follow but portions of this hiking trail venture off of the bike trail where you will see old markings on some of the trees, portions of these trails haven't been used in some time. This trail is not easy to access for most but if you are given the opportunity I would highly recommend hiking this trail. Northern trail info coming soon.

hiking
6 months ago

Rough start through the beach area for about a mile, the walking in the sand worked us over before getting on the wooded trail which was really hard to find. We ended up over shooting the turn by about a half mile but once we got back on track it turned into a very nice trail. Loved the trail otherwise, we are looking to hike the entire 21ish miles of this trail!

this trail is located on Cherry Point not near Newport.

We did this trail last weeknd. It was an easy trail fun trail. Beautiful view along the water and the forest.

Lots of fun! We didn’t take the traditional trail since part of it was covered in water & we were walking through big spiderwebs. Pretty much did the whole hike on the beach which was lovely. My puppy definitely had a fun time! The weather was perfect today too!

There are really two trails here. A shorter one if you stay on the small inner loop, and a larger 4 mile remote trek if you can navigate its scarce markers. Gentle slopes in some places, but mostly flat throughout. I will definitely hike this again.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail. I have been on it several times and have lost the trail at the southern end each time - it just seems to vanish. The ticks are very heavy!

Very pretty but would not do it again. The trail is poorly marked. Worth doing once though.

This was a fantastic thru-hike starting at the northern trail head near cherry point and heading 21 miles south to oyster point. It offers a little bit of everything; rolling hills, beach, flat open views, swamp land with foot bridges, salt marsh and more. The shelters are in pretty good shape (There are 3 along the trail) and each of them are accompanied by a water pump so that's pretty convenient. One major thing to prepare for, the southern section of the trail is a little undeveloped (Still blazed clearly though) and you will be sloshing through about 2 miles of knee deep mud/standing water. Didn't hurt my pace too much, but a few people on the trail were somewhat surprised by that obstacle. Overall it's a great beginner trail, or a good 2 day hike to keep up your skills.

Lovely trail, but had to turn around because of the mosquitoes. bring bug spray and plenty of water.

hiking
11 months ago

My husband and I went last month and the flies and ticks were horrendous. Bring your bug spray and check yourself after your hike. All in all we very much enjoyed this trail

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Easy enough hike. Not well marked in the second stage so you have to keep your eyes open for where the trail actually goes. We ended up in what we think was a deer trail towards the end. Beautiful scenery.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Great hike with awesome views

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