Not that it will happen right away, but there is a possibility that at some point the kids will look at the beach, view the ocean and say, “Let’s do something different.” Just in case that does happen, here’s an activity that certainly qualifies as “different.”
At one time there was a maritime forest stretching from Nags Head to Corolla—probably all the way to the Virginia border. Remnants of that forest still exist and one of the best examples and easiest to access is in Corolla.
The Currituck Banks Reserve has two trails leading out to the sound. The parking lot for the trails is at a very sharp right hand bend in NC12 about a half mile from the 4WD area heading north.
There is a .3 mile boardwalk and a .75 primitive trail. Remember what goes out must come back, so double the distances for the total length.
The boardwalk offers a beautiful trek through towering pines and occasional hardwood trees. It ends with a wonderful panorama of Currituck Sound. The walk is suitable for just about anyone and parents regularly take younger children on it.
About 25 yards from the beginning of the boardwalk there are two stairs on the right side. The stairs are the beginning of the primitive trail, an easily navigated hike through the forest.
Nothing technical about it, a good story pair of sandals should be fine. Kids eight years of age and up should be able to walk the trail.
This is a remarkable journey into what the Outer Banks may have been like before European settlers came. The path passes through groves of massive, twisted live oak—almost eerie in appearance. It ends at the sound. If the weather has been dry, the trail extends into the marsh. if it has rained recently, common sense will dictate the marsh is too muddy to navigate.
The trail is marked by blue blazons.
Insect repellant is a very good idea for both trails.