Day Hiking in Currituck County – Get Back to Nature

November 12, 2012

In the Currituck area of the North Carolina Outer Banks, the outdoors enthusiast will find endless days of serenity and beautiful shorelines. Less populated than the southern region of the OBX, Currituck County is the state’s best open secret-for a vacation that mixes the adventure of nature and relaxation away from crowds, this destination can’t be beat.

There’s more to do in Currituck, too, than play in the surf and make sand castles. You might think one is better suited to enjoy day hikes in the mountains, but if you know where to go along the shore here, you can plan several nature-watching trips and always find something new along the way.

Where are the best day hikes in the area? Short or long, mainland or by the sea, there’s plenty of room for a good walk. Lace up your shoes and follow the famed wild mustangs on an adventure anytime of year.

Historic Corolla Park – While not out in the wilderness, Historic Corolla Park, also known as Currituck Heritage Park, boasts a large stretch of land that incorporates the historic Whalehead Club and Currituck Lighthouse. Walk the grounds along the sound and take in the salty air…you just may see a dolphin frolicking in the distant waves, too. This park is perfect for leisurely walks, and you can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds. While you’re here, stop by the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education and learn more about the animals and flora you can find as you enjoy your nature walks.

Charles Kuralt Trail – Named for the late North Carolina-born journalist whose “On the Road” segments of the CBS Evening News took America on an incredible journey down seldom-used back roads, this trail offers the opportunity to enjoy Mackay Island in all its natural glory. Explore the dark backwater refuges of the state’s finned and four-footed inhabitants, and learn how you can help preserve these wild lands for future generations.

Currituck Banks National Estuarine Preserve – What can you find in the marshes of the Outer Banks? This preserve’s blazed trail takes you deep into the wooded areas of Currituck, where some of the most beautiful plants and flowers indigenous to the Carolinas bloom. You might just see a fox or a deer or two while hiking – take a camera, that’s the only type of shooting allowed on this protected land.

Because the weather is fair year round, with patches of heat during the summer, you’ll want to be prepared. Keep bottled water with you. The sun’s heat can be deceptive at times, so be sure you apply sunscreen, and take along insect repellent for hikes into woodsy area. Most of all, enjoy the quiet time and appreciate the natural beauty of the Outer Banks.

For more ideas on area day hikes, contact the Currituck County Department of Travel and Tourism toll free at 877-287-7488 and ask for a free visitor’s guide.

Kathryn Lively