11 Sep 2021
There’s a good chance that when visitors picture about the Outer Banks they’re not envisioning a dirt road through a verdant forest. But it does exist in a couple of places and at least one of those locations offers a wonderful bike ride.
Old Nags Head Woods Road is a dirt road and it cuts right through the heart of Nags Head Woods.
This is definitely a fat tire ride. It is a dirt road and there are sections of it that are somewhat sandy. For a really determined rider on a beach cruiser, the route can probably be done, but honestly, it will be a much more enjoyable ride with some gears.
The easiest way to get on the route is to go to the Nags Head Woods visitor’s center and start the ride there. Convenient, yes…but it misses some of the best part of the ride.
Old Nags Head Woods Road begins at the end of Boundary Street, a short spur road off Martin Street in Kill Devil Hills. Look on a map or use GPS to figure out how to get there, but that’s really where the ride begins. A quick note on that—you will have to ride to begin this route—there is no parking available.
But that’s where the dirt road begins and for the first 50 yards or so there’s a slight downhill grade beneath a lush, beautiful canopy.
The road levels off for a while and on either side are a series of fresh water ponds. Depending on season and rainfall, they vary between crystal clear and algae overgrown. It’s a green algae and not the toxic blue or blue/green algae associated with harmful algae blooms.
There’s a bend in the road and a small rise with the Tillett family cemetery at the top of the hill. The Tillett family owned almost all of the land the right side of the road heading toward the sound at one time.
Just past that is the intersection with Ocean Acres, but keep going straight out to the sound.
This section of the ride is a little bit challenging. The road is rougher along this stretch and there are two or three elevation gains where gears will come in handy. Any moderately experienced rider should have no problem, though.
Roanoke Sound is 1.5 miles from the beginning of the dirt road. Old Nags Head Road continues parallel to the sound as a dirt road, but the protected forest of Nags Head Woods ends and it becomes a residential area.
There are so many surprises on the Outer Banks. Take some time to explore life on a sandbar with a visit to a Brindley Beach Vacations home.