If you’re headed to the coast for a beach trip this summer, you’re probably looking forward to days of sea, sun, and sand. We’re lucky to have some really beautiful stretches of coastline in North Carolina. But if you’re looking for something a little different on your summer vacation this year, check out one of these nature trails in the eastern part of the state. You’ll be amazed at the natural diversity in our area.
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
Let’s start our tour of the state close to home at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park. There are four trails that are less than one mile each, which means you can check them all out in one trip. Enjoy beautiful views of the Neuse River and a trail that takes you by creeks that were used to produce moonshine.
Kent Mitchell Nature Trail
At the southern tip of North Carolina, the Kent Mitchell Nature Trail lies on Bald Head Island. This half-mile trail lets you take in the mature maritime forest on the island. There are trees up to 300 years old! The Kent Mitchell Nature Trail will be one of the highlights of your time on the island, which is only accessible by ferry. Expect to see animals like woodpeckers, otters, alligators, and loggerhead turtles. And expect to take your time seeing them! Cars aren’t allowed on the island, so you’ll be getting around on a bike, in a golf cart, or with good old-fashioned walking.
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Lake Waccamaw State Park
One thing is for sure – you’ve never seen anything quite like Lake Waccamaw State Park. That’s because the geology of the Carolina Bays area is totally unique. No one is quite sure how the small elliptical lakes formed. But we do know all their water comes from runoff, and there is aquatic life that can’t be found anywhere else. Explore the 700-foot boardwalk where you can observe fish and other wildlife. Then enjoy more than seven miles of hiking trails throughout the rest of the park.
North Carolina has a lot of beautiful and unique natural areas to explore. Add these trails to your summer bucket list, and start planning a trip today!
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