Birding, Flora, & Fauna Hikes – The North Carolina coast features some of the most beautiful mature maritime forests with massive virgin trees, vast marshes, and native plants and animals. Bulk Head Island offers several trails connecting boardwalks to three inlets; the Kent Mitchell Nature Trail provides a breathtaking perspective of the wetlands and there are benches along the way ideal for birding opportunities. Bald eagles and red-cockaded woodpeckers are abundant. The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is considered to be the best trail in the area for viewing wildlife. The North Pond Trail here meanders through the feeding areas of snow geese, piping plovers, 25 species of ducks, tundra swans, peregrine falcons, and many more. Pea Island is also a prime spot to glimpse the loggerhead turtles. The Croatan National Forest is located just south of New Bern and consists of nearly 160,000 acres of unusual forest. Walk the one mile trail through coastal virgin forest, passing cypress trees and other plant communities.
Hiking – North Carolina is brimming with acres of public land ideal for anyone who loves the outdoors and hiking. With four national parks, several national seashores, 35 state parks, and numerous wildlife refuges, North Carolina offers an endless list of hiking locations. The Piedmont Region features hardwood forests with trees and shrubs that include river birch, sycamore, and alder. In the mountains, one can hike among hemlocks, rhododendrons, and hickory forests. Visit the famous Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or the Nantahala National Forest. Whether you are seeking shorter hikes or a multi-day adventure, you’ll find the perfect trip among North Carolina’s diverse terrain.
Biking – Biking is a great way to explore the miles of trails and the quaint towns North Carolina has to offer. Meander along the Crystal Coast, peddle through the lovely Blue Ridge Parkway and its many side trails, or explore the state parks of the Piedmont region. North Carolina biking trails can be easy and relaxing or fast and demanding.
|DID YOU KNOW . . . Old Salem is a restored 18th century Moravian congregation town that depicts life in the original town of Salem, North Carolina. Salem, founded 1753, had one of the first public water systems, fire departments and schools for girls in America!
Pictures courtesy of North and South Carolina’s Departments of Tourism.