92. Explore Nags Head Woods

Nestled in the middle of the Outer Banks, Nags Head Woods is a most unexpectedly peaceful and beautiful place.  A maritime forest, Nags Head Woods was influenced by the powerful salt-laden winds of the OBX, a shortage of fresh water, and sandy, nutrient-poor soils.  It is unusual to find a maritime forest on a barrier island, but an ancient ridge of sand dunes has protected this area of the Outer Banks allowing it to develop.  The whole family will enjoy exploring the Woods, quietly searching for the wildlife and seeing how the harsh conditions of the Outer Banks made this a truly unique place.

The ecology and varied habitats of Nags Head Woods includes forested dunes, ponds, marshes, and wetlands.  Two of the largest living sand dunes on the East Coast run along the northern and southern borders of the preserve. A diversity of animal and plant life flourishes under towering oaks, hickories, and beech trees, some hundreds of years old. One hundred species of birds, twenty eight species of reptiles, many aquatic animals, as well as deer and other wildlife live in this diverse preserve.

Nags Head Woods contains hiking and jogging trails which are fun for the whole family. Bird watchers can spend hours catching glimpses of aquatic and marsh fowl. Throughout the year events and activities for adults and children are offered in connection with the preserve.  Each year the Nags Head Woods 5k is held to help raise money to support this splendid and unique forest.

Don’t miss a chance to get “lost” in nature and see how a forest can grow where you’d least expect it.