View across an interdunal pond on the Center Trail at Nags Head Woods.

View across an interdunal pond on the Center Trail at Nags Head Woods.

With our Outer Banks non-resident property owners starting to come back to Dare County on Monday a first important step is being taken to retuning things to normal. Or what passes normal right now.

One of the things that everyone is going to be aware of this summer is how important social distancing is gong to be. Our restaurant will probably be operating at 50% of their normal seating through most of the summer; stores will have restrictions on them for how many people can be inside at one time.

But we’ll get through it because the Outer Banks is such an amazing place…and that includes the people who live and work here and our Brindley Beach Vacations guest.

What also helps is there is so much to do, that there is plenty of opportunity to get away from the humdrum and day to day and explore a remarkable land.

The exploration also give you, or you and your family, a chance to get off by yourselves.

Nags Head Woods

The soundside of the Outer Banks is lined with maritime forests and one of the most amazing is Nags Head Woods.

Almost 1300 acres of dense forest and interdunal ponds the site calls out to be explored.

Part of the Nature Conservancy, Nags Head Woods would seem to have something for everyone. There are trails that are so steep they almost seem mountain-like. There are trails that are easily navigated and are suitable for anyone age six or seven and older. Additionally, there is also a wonderful ADA trail.

Maps available at the Visitor Center’s. Right now, to protect employees and the public, the offices are closed, but maps are available. The trail the will give a workout is the Sweetgum Swamp Trail, which is a moderately difficult trail. There are ways to shorten it, but if the Blueberry Trail is added to it’s almost a 4 mile hike.

The hills are actually relict sand dunes, and that become apparent on the Sweetgum Trail. At one point, for about a quarter mile, what was once an access road for some power lines is the trail.

The easiest trail is the Center Trail, a quarter mile loop trail that is suitable for just about anyone.

The best way to get the Nags Head Woods is to turn west (away from the Atlantic Ocean) onto Ocean Acres Dr.. The road will bend sharply to the right, go up a hill and turn into a dirt road. The Visitor Center and parking lot will be at the bottom of the hill on the right.

Have fun and explore.