Beach Cycling in Currituck

January 15, 2009
On a warm spring day, nothing beats a leisurely bicycle tour of the Currituck Outer Banks. Why spend money on gas, when you can hop on a beach cruiser and tour Currituck County via the many winding bike paths that border the beauty and historic interest of the North Carolina shore?

For leisure riders and serious cyclists, the Currituck Outer Banks provide a wonderful opportunity to explore the county, and beyond, on two wheels. Starting at the north end of the beach in Corolla on NC Highway 12 takes you past the flora and fauna to Currituck Heritage Park and a multitude of multi-use trails and quiet avenues. From there one may wind through serene Outer Banks neighborhoods on narrow paths toward Sanderling and Duck.

Beach cruisers are welcome on the shores as well, allowing visitors to feel the salty ocean breeze as they glide past the lapping waves of the Atlantic. If you happen upon any surfers or volleyball players along the way, be sure to yield!

What to see

Perched on a bicycle seat, there is much to see on a spring or summer day wheeling through Corolla or Coinjock by the shore. Cyclists taking NC 12 from the north end will eventually meet the Whalehead Club and Currituck Lighthouse at the park, the perfect spot for a break. A deeper sojourn along the shore may provide the opportunity to spot Currituck’s famous wild mustangs frolicking along the beach. If you are riding, however, be aware not to get too close and frighten the animals, as they are in their natural habitat.

Share the Road

Because many of the bike-friendly road paths in the Currituck Outer Banks are also part of the state highway system, you will often find cyclists and drivers on the road together enjoying their vacations. State traffic laws observe bicycles and motorized bikes as vehicles, therefore visitors must adhere to the traffic laws as do other motorists. Especially in the summer, when people from all over the country come to enjoy a fun and relaxing vacation, it is important to remember safety and courtesy when sharing the road.

If you are planning a bike outing in Currituck, be it a casual loop around the county or a vigorous trek to the other end of the Outer Banks, please remember to address caution and be vigilant. The warmer months bring more tourists to the area, and not everybody may mind the road as well as you. Ride defensively and watch for traffic, and also be aware of beach debris and walkers, runners, and Segway users on off-road tracks. Always wear a helmet, and bright, reflective clothing in order to be seen.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance travel writer who has contributed to the Currituck County Department of Travel and Tourism in the Outer Banks.