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Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks isn’t just about sun-soaked beaches and crashing waves (although those are pretty awesome too!). OBX also offers a network of captivating hiking trails waiting to be explored. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore the Outer Banks in a whole new way! Coastside Properties have got you covered with some of the best family-friendly hikes on the OBX:

For the Tiny Explorers:

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Let the kids loose on the “Walking Dunes” – giant sand mountains perfect for climbing, rolling down, and unleashing their inner sandcastle architect. Bonus points for epic sunset views!

Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve

This short, paved loop offers a taste of the maritime forest with interactive signs to keep curious minds engaged. Plus, there’s a cool boardwalk and a chance to spot some feathered friends!

Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Preserve: 

Let your little explorers loose on the wooden walkways, searching for hidden ponds, spotting colorful butterflies, and maybe even catching a glimpse of a deer. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a peaceful break under the shade of the maritime forest, listening to the calming sounds of nature.

For the Budding Indiana Jones:

Bodie Island Lighthouse Trail

Combine history and nature with a trek to the iconic Bodie Island Lighthouse. The walk is mostly paved, but the reward of climbing those stairs and witnessing the breathtaking ocean view is priceless.

Sandy Run Park

This short loop trail is perfect for little legs, offering glimpses of the ocean and plenty of opportunities to see the wildlife, and enjoy scenic views. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rods as there are spots to fish here!

For the Family That Hikes Together:

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

This haven for birdwatchers boasts diverse trails through marshes, forests, and beaches. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a nature-filled afternoon spotting herons, egrets, and maybe even a bald eagle!

Frisco Woods

 This extensive trail network caters to all levels with options ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging climbs. Hike through towering maritime forests, explore sand dunes, and cool off afterwards at nearby Frisco Beach.


Remember, the key to family hiking fun is:

  • Start slow and choose trails that match everyone’s abilities.
  • Pack plenty of snacks and water – hydration is key!
  • Bring sunscreen, hats, and bug spray.
  • Make it fun! Play games, sing songs, and point out interesting things along the way.
  • Most importantly, relax, enjoy the scenery, and create lasting memories together.

So, ditch the screens, grab your hiking boots, and get ready to discover the magic of the Outer Banks on foot. You might just surprise yourself with how much fun exploring nature with your family can be!

P.S. Don’t forget to check trail conditions before you go, and always be respectful of the environment. Happy hiking!

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