Yellow Slider turtles at Sandy Run Park, Kitty Hawk.

As we have written before, the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks are the reason so many people come to visit—and we agree, that is a great reason to come. But sometimes it’s nice to step away from the beach for a little while, and for those people, we offer our Brindley Beach list of “Three Hidden Gems of the Outer Banks.”

Sandy Run Park, Kitty Hawk

Located next to the Kitty Hawk Garden Center on the Woods Road in Kitty Hawk, this may be the most beautiful small park on the Outer Banks. A one mile loop trail goes around a wetlands and park and meanders briefly through a maritime forest. The trail is suitable for kids of any age. There are two kayak launch sites and catch and release fishing piers. Bring the camera . . . lots of photo ops.

Nags Head Town Park, Nags Head

This is really off the beaten path. The park is off Health Center Drive—turn onto West Barnes Street at the Nags Head Ace Hardware and follow it until it becomes Health Center Drive. 

The park has covered picnic tables, grills, a small playground and a large open field for pick-up games. There are a couple of easily navigated hiking trails that connect with Nags Head Woods. Perfect for a midday picnic or a family outing.

Town Park, Duck

We’re not sure if this truly qualifies as “hidden” because it is used so much, but away from the Gazebo where the Duck Jazz Festival takes place and the Amphitheater that is used so much in the summer, there are interconnecting trails that wind through the 11 acre site. Connecting directly with the Duck Boardwalk, it’s a great place to meet a friend or take a romantic stroll.