Currituck Banks Reserve-A Different Side to the Outer Banks

End of the Currituck Reserve Boardwalk Trail leading to Currituck Sound.
End of the Currituck Reserve Boardwalk Trail leading to Currituck Sound.

The Outer Banks is a surprising place. Almost all of our visitors come for the sun, the sand and the chance to sit on a beach and do as little as possible. After two or three days of that, it can begin to drag a bit and then the exploration of the Outer Banks really begins.

There is a remarkable history here—check out The Lost Colony, the longest running outdoor drama in the United States. Joe Lamb, Jr. is a proud sponsor of the play and it’s a great evening of entertainment. there is more recent history at the Whalehead Club or any of the lighthouses that dot the coast.

There is also a wilderness side to the Outer Banks; the western shoreline that borders the sounds is a place of dense forests and surprising beauty.

One of the most accessible is the Currituck Banks Reserve in Corolla. The trailhead and parking lot is about mile past the Currituck Beach Lighthouse at a sharp righthand turn in the road.

There are actually two trails—a .3 mile boardwalk and a .75 primitive trail. Those are one way distances so double them for the full length.

The boardwalk trail is suitable for anyone. Towering pines line the path creating a canopy of green. The trail ends with an overview of the northern end of Currituck Sound.

The primitive trail should be fine for anyone eight years and up, although it’s important that children know to stay on the trail. There are two stairs about 25 yards from the beginning of the boardwalk that is the beginning of the trail. Look for the blue blazons that mark the path.

A good pair of walking or running shoes, or even sturdy sandals, should be fine, although flip-flops would be pushing your luck a bit.

The trail winds through an extensive grove of live oak, twisted and shaped by the relentless winds of the Outer Banks. It ends at a marsh on the edge of the sound.

This is a great introduction to a side of the Outer Banks that is often overlooked.

Late spring to early fall, insect repellant is a must.

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