Friday Five: Five Walking Trails to Try

May 4, 2012
The natural beauty of the Currituck Outer Banks draws visitors and residents alike to lace up their good walking shoes and head for the nearest trail. With many opportunities to spy a myriad of birds and sea and land creatures that call the OBX home, a short hike not only gets the blood pumping but stimulates the mind and senses. When you come for your summer vacation, be sure to pack a comfortable hiking outfit and bug spray alongside your swimsuit and sunscreen. Take a day to appreciate the sunshine, cool breezes, and easy walking paths branched throughout Currituck County.

Where to walk first? You can stop by the Visitor Center for ideas, or try these five suggestions. Get yourself some thick, comfortable socks and take a camera because you never know…you may happen upon a wild horse or other point of interest.

1) Charles Kurault Trail – North Carolina-born journalist Kuralt was known for his short broadcasts that emphasized out of the way places and interesting people, and it is only appropriate to have an area in the Outer Banks named in his honor. On the Kuralt Trail one can explore the wildlands along the Currituck Sound via footpaths and boardwalks. You may see geese and ducks splashing in the water and picture perfect views all around.

2) The Great Marsh Loop – If you head over to Knotts Island to check out the vineyards, make some time for this .3 mile-long path around the marsh pond. The Great Marsh Loop is a peaceful trail in a woodsy area populated with turtles and birds. Some have also spotted otters in the area, too.

3) Pine Island Birding Trail – Behind the Pine Island Racquet and Fitness Center is a 2.5 mile trail with beautiful views of the sound and nearby Audubon Sanctuary. More than a hundred species of birds have been spotted during walks throughout the year, and the colorful and fragrant flora offer many picture-taking opportunities.

4) Maple Park – Residents enjoy Maple Park for its fishing like, fitness area, and skate park. There are shorter trails in the area as well, if you are interested in a quick exercise break. Maple Park is a good place to bring the kids for a picnic and afternoon on the playground.

5) Currituck Banks Maritime Forest Trail – This year-long trail takes the hiker about 1 1/2 miles into forest and wetland areas. It is a peaceful walk but definitely not a boring one.

As you prepare for day hiking in the Currituck area, be sure to bring along a water bottle and protection against insects. Mind any park rules, especially where there are warnings about animals and unsafe areas. Leave the trails as you found them, and enjoy your walk!

Kathryn Lively