The Currituck Banks Estuarine Reserve boardwalk.

The Currituck Banks Estuarine Reserve boardwalk.

Looking for something different to do after a few days on the beach? A suggestion is to take a walk on the other side.

In this case, the other side of the Currituck Banks up in Corolla.

Protected from the harsh, salt-driven winds of the Atlantic by a series of sand dunes, the  western side of the Outer Banks is home to a number of protected maritime forests.

The Currituck Banks Estuarine Reserve in Corolla may be the easiest to explore any of the Outer Banks reserves. There are two trails—one a boardwalk that is handicap accessible and the other a wonderful and very easy trek through spectacular live oak trees.

Driving north from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the parking lot is about a mile away. The parking lot is on the left hand side of a very sharp right bend in the road.

There will be a gate leading to the boardwalk that can’t missed. Please be sure to close the gate. The Corolla Wild Horses do roam through the forest from time to time, although that is pretty rare in the summer.

The Currituck Banks Estuarine Reserve Trails

The boardwalk is a third of a mile long and ends at a wide pier with an amazing view of Currituck Sound. The walk to the end is wonderful, traversing verdant marsh or maybe swamp with towering pines lining the boardwalk.

The Maritime Forest Trail is an easily navigated and highly recommended trail three quarter mile trail that leads to the sound. It is not a loop trail, so the round trip is 1.5 miles.

There will be three step on the right side of the boardwalk about 50 yards from the gate.

The live oak along this trail may be the most spectacular grove of the trees on the Outer Banks. There is an almost other-worldly feel to trail.

The trail is suitable for anyone age seven and up. Something a little more substantial than flip-flops are recommended, although hiking boots would be overkill.

Be sure to apply insect repellant.

There is so much to do and explore on the Outer Banks that one visit a year is not enough. Plan your next getaway today with Brindley Beach Vacations.