Contributed by Bill Brobst, Wheels of Dare Bicycle Club
The “Wright Brothers Bikeway” runs for 40 miles between Corolla in Currituck County at the north end of the Outer Banks and South Nags Head, and then continues on for another 65 miles or so to Ocracoke at the south end. The northern 45-mile portion of the Wright Brothers Bikeway consists of a combination of wide paved shoulders, separate community multi-use (bike) paths, and quiet neighborhood streets. In all cases, the separate paths are shared with pedestrians, and are recommended more for slow and intermediate speed leisure family riding. The Wright Brothers Bikeway is shown on the NC DOT bicycle map.
Beginning at the north end is the Currituck County portion of the Wright Brothers Bikeway. In the village of Corolla, there are many bike paths, winding through the Corolla Historic Village, some wide, some narrow. NC Highway 12 begins at the north end of Corolla, at the beach. Two miles south is Currituck Heritage Park, with the Whalehead Museum and Nature Center and the Currituck Lighthouse, both worth a visit.
South of the Corolla area is a combination of separate multi-use southbound paths paralleling NC-12 and 5′ wide paved outside shoulders on NC-12 itself. Speed limit on NC-12 is 35 or 45 mph, depending on location. In the southern half, beginning just north of the Hampton Inn, there is a separate series of narrower paths on the ocean (east) side of winding NC-12 which combine with quiet neighborhood access streets in the several housing projects along the oceanfront. Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss the connecting paths. This continues southward into the Sanderling section of Duck, just past the Dare County line. Total length in Currituck County: 17 miles. On the return trip from Duck in the south, turn right on Caldwell Road into the housing project shortly after you enter Currituck County, and follow the access roads north.
Details on the Dare County and Hyde County portions of the Wright Brother’s Bikeway can be found on the Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau website, www.outerbanks.org. Bicycling questions can also be answered by the Wheels of Dare Bicycle Club, phone 252-261-3068. E-mail: Brobst-Hager@embarqmail.com.