Kitty Hawk Woods--The Barlow Trail in the winter.

Kitty Hawk Woods–The Barlow Trail in the winter.

It’s winter. That northeast wind blowing on the beach is cold. So it may be time to think about alternative places to spend time outdoors on the Outer Banks.

With that in mind, may we suggest Kitty Hawk Woods.

Located completely in the town of Kitty Hawk, Kitty Hawk Woods is the largest protected maritime forest on the Outer Banks. Covering about 1900 ares—three square miles—it offers a wonderful way to explore the other side of the Outer Banks.

If there is a complaint or downside to it, parking for the trails is very limited.

Many regular visitors to the Outer Banks have experienced at least some small part of the forest. The Woods Road in Kitty Hawk, bisects the reserve.

The best way to explore the Kitty Hawk Woods, though, is on foot.

The Trails of Kitty Hawk Woods

The most extensive trails system is at the end of Ridge Road. There’s a small parking area next to the next to the basketball court.

The trail directly in front of you is the Barlow Trail that connects with Barlow Lane, a dirt road on the north side of the reserve.

There’s an intersection of trails about a quarter mile into the trail.

The trail to the left was, at one time, a narrow gauge railroad bed to haul logs out of the forest 90-100 years ago.

The trail to the left takes hiker through a beautiful marsh and swamp, eventually rising above the wetlands and ending with a beautiful view of Albemarle Sound.

Any season, Kitty Hawk Woods is beautiful. In winter sparrows and juncos flit through the trees. Migratory waterfowl are regular visitors in the freshwater ponds. Woodpeckers are seen at almost anytime.

In the spring, summer and fall, the reserve explodes with color. Hardwood trees thrive along the ridges that are ancient sand dunes. Cedar and gum trees fill the marshes.

An amazing place, just waiting to be explored.

The Outer Banks is filled with surprising things to do. Make your reservation with Brindley Beach Vacations and begin your journey of discovery.