18 Jul 2021
We’ve talked about Kitty Hawk Woods before, what a treasure it is and the amazing beauty of the maritime forest.
It is a very extensive protected forest—right around 1900 acres, or about three square miles. That makes it a little difficult to find and trail. And adding to that, the trailheads are not well marked and parking very limited.
Or that was the case until the latest project from the Town of Kitty Hawk was just completed. With some grants from the Visitors Bureau and state as well as some of their own money, the town built a connector trail from Kitty Hawk Park on Kitty Hawk Road to the Birch Lane Trail.
This is pretty exciting really.
Kitty Hawk Park, which is part of the Dare County Park system, has a dog park, skate park, picnic tables and ample parking. That means there is now a well marked paring area that gives access to one of the Kitty Hawk Woods trails.
The Birch Lane Trail is probably not as well known as some of the other trails in the reserve. Before the connector was finished, the only access to the trail was from a small parking are—really just room for two cars (maybe)—at the back end of a residential area.
The trail is a wonderful trek through a maritime forest. The trail follows a low ridge that rises a few feet above verdant swamp and marsh on both sides. Unlike other trails in the reserve that are ten to twenty feet above the swamp, hardwood trees like oak and hickory are rare. Rather, along this trail, pine trees and black gum dominate—trees that thrive in a marshy environment.
The trail is an out and back trail, about 1.5 miles in length, meaning it’s a three mile total hike if that’s the plan. The trail has a few minor ups and downs, but is considered level. Be aware, though, there are a lot of tree roots. And, perhaps most importantly, if going on the trail in the summer, put on some insect repellent…you’ll need it.
The Outer Banks is wonderfully diverse ecosystem waiting to be explored. Start your journey in a Brindley Beach Vacations home.