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Cape Lookout is a 4.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Gloucester, North Carolina that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 32 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

walking

bird watching

ohv / off road driving

running

beach

views

wildlife

bugs

historic site

hiking
6 months ago

The real reward in this is definitely the view points along the way. Boring hike with lots of switch backs, BUT still worth it if you make it to the beach.

hiking
bugs
muddy
no shade
off trail
9 months ago

I have seen some cool places, and this exceeds all by far. I have never wanted to immediately return to a place after I left it more in my life. I decided to visit Cape Lookout the hard way...handed in a float plan with the National Park Service in Harker’s Island, packed 4 days worth of food and gear into a 16’ canoe, and paddled the 2.5 miles across the crab sanctuary to the barrier island, solo. You can day ferry it over, or take the vehicle ferry with your 4wheel drive...all roads on the island are sand. Sea turtle nests everywhere...very cool. Great sea wildlife. Birds everywhere. Heron, egrets, American oystercatchers, sanderling, pelicans, royal terns. Every night at low tide the softshell crabs come out of the water by the hundreds. Did I mention best seashells on the east coast? Found a great cosmo helmet shell, so many knobbed whelks I couldn’t fit them all in my daypack. Sand dollars, scallops, clams, oysters. Another reviewer mentioned how tough it is to walk in the sand...completely agree. It’s like walking through deep snow with no snowshoes everywhere the sand is dry. The abandoned village is cool, bring the best bug spray you’ve ever bought. Shade is only created by clouds, or your own shade. If you go towards the trees, you go towards the bugs. The sea breeze keeps the bugs away from the beach. There is potable water, there are restrooms and outdoor showers. The NP rangers are the nicest people on earth, had some cool convos with random folks I bumped into. The water is teal, the waves are awesome, the stars are endless. Bring everything you need with you for whatever length of time you plan to spend, and take everything back out with you because a treasure like this is fragile. This place is heaven if you enjoy a truly primitive beach experience. It’s basically the desert surrounded by water, but so much to see, can’t wait to return...very soon.

hiking
Wed May 29 2019

There is a lot to love about this trail, but I don’t consider it to be easy as the description says. The actual trail follows an old established roadbed that is primarily deep sand, which is extremely hard for walking. Because we love the beach we opted to walk on the beach for much of the trail, which follows the beach much of the time. But we followed the trail through the old abandoned village, which was sand. Very tough walking. If you love the beach you’ll love Cape Lookout. Amazing scenery and crystal clear waters.

camping
Sat Apr 06 2019

By far, the best beach camping we've done. Went in early April and the weather and lack of bugs and people were perfect.

walking
Mon Apr 17 2017

Great adventure! We took the Local Yokel ferry across and off-roaded to the point where we set up camp and hiked up and down from the point. Fished and gigged for flounder, caught a 7 pounder! Great place to camp, hike, stroll, off-road, fish, enjoy the seclusion. May have areas closed for turtles, so be careful and respect the wild seashore.

fishing
Sun Dec 27 2015

Love cape lookout. Great seclusion. Tons of areas to discover. Makes a great weekend.

hiking
1 month ago

ohv/off road driving
7 months ago

hiking
Thu May 09 2019

hiking
Mon Feb 25 2019

ohv/off road driving
Sat Jul 14 2018

recorded Cape Lookout

Sun Apr 16 2017