Explore the most popular trails near Nags Head with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Nags Head, North Carolina Map
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Great trail and very clearly marked. 1&2 gave beautiful scenery with some challenging inclines and some beautiful built in steps. When we hit trail 3, we made it about 1/4 mi in before a 4ft cotton mouth jumped out at us. Standing its ground in the middle of the trail we turned around to have an even bigger rat snake do the same 200ft away. My heart definitely got a workout. Took it really slo the rest of the way out of trail 3, spotting another big cotton mouth curled up next to the trail. Still a great hike. If you’re snake sight seeing head to trail 3 after it rains

Nice hike. Clearly marked and well maintained trail. Saw a few plain bellied water snakes (not a plus for me!). Real downfall to this hike is the flies. About 25% of my hike I was harassed by them and had to continually swat my hands as I was walking. Maybe it was the time of year I went. It was an overcast day and I went about 4 pm. According to the sandy parts of the trail, I was the first one there that day. No other footprints. I would like to try some of the other trails next time I’m back.

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.

I came across this visiting for the weekend. Overall, it's a pretty cool place and well tended to. This trail was 1 of 6 within the entire preserve. Unfortunately, my visit was the day after a thunderstorm, so the conditions were wet and humid. This also meant the bugs were in abundance (despite being covered in bug spray). I'd love to give this one another go, but maybe during a cooler season or with more clothing.

Nice hike through a maritime forest with numerous intradunal ponds and tall pines. Due to recent rains, the first small loop as you start the trail was closed. There were several ascents and descents on this trail, which made for a nice workout. The highlight was a plain-bellied watersnake about two feet off the trail that was getting ready to shed its skin and didn’t move when we walked by and took a photo. Some of the pictures submitted for this trail show sound views but those pictures are probably for the Discovery Trail that does have great sound views.

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.

Nice easy hike, petty scenery. Great sunset views!

hiking
3 months ago

We enjoyed this trail. The hills were challenging and the forest was beautiful.

on Nags Head Town Trail

hiking
3 months ago

A nice trail in Nags Head with a view of the sound. The trail was easy to follow and in great condition. It was an easy hike.

It's nice. Went with the dogs. Unfortunately the whole trail isn't open to dogs.

Love the elevated platforms

A fantastic surprise in the OBX. A great trail run in a hidden gem smack in middle of Kill Devil Hills. Surprising variation in elevation along the run from blueberry and bumble gum. About a 4 mile or so run. One hill is killer for sure. My only down mark would be and also to some would not be a concern would be that the trails are very narrow. I make sure to search for ticks here as you are very much in the woods and there are spots that’ll are slightly overgrown and you will have to track through vegetation. That is also an endearing quality I like here too.

walking
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Love the OBX lighthouses!

walking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

We did the NC12 Lighthouse run, starting with Currituck to Bodie to Hatteras to Ocracoke... nice short boardwalk trail to the marshes from the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Must stop if you are on the outer banks.

hiking
Saturday, October 29, 2016

Accessible trail. Great views.

birding
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It was hot, but its a short walk, Nice boardwalk to the lake and back. Lots of birds, an alligator or two, maybe a snake can be seen

can't really rate it because we didn't finish the trail. but here are some tips: don't bring your dog; no pets allowed but we drove 45 minutes with our dog so we hiked with our dog. wear light hiking boots or sneakers. too many sand spurs for sandals ( not good for the dog either ). it was too hot in August ; do the trail in cooler weather. will come back and try again this winter without the dog.

Beautiful early spring walk on sweetgum and blueberry trails. The trees growing out of the swamp are erie and majestic. These hikes were not wheel chair friendly. Nice place for pictures on wooden bridges near visitor center. Later in season make sure to have big spray!

Easy walking.
Wonderful birds.

The shooting range is for the town police department, not a bunch of crazy north carolina gun lovin' rednecks. thanks for the snarky comment though.

What a wonderful reprieve from the 40 degree (April!) beach! The preserve trails were beautiful, quiet, peaceful, and much warmer. It was a little scary seeing some signs about shooting ranges being close by, but indication that we should be safe as long as we stay on the trail. I guess that's NC for you? Totally different vegetation than what we're used to on the West coast- very cool to see- green water was very neat, and my daughter had a lot of fun! Very happy to have found this place.

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