What Will You See at the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail?

09/20/2019 | by Joseph Mitchell | Outer Banks Attractions and Activities

What comes to mind when you think of the Outer Banks? Probably the beach, sand dunes, and water activities. Well, we’re here to tell you that there is so much more to our beautiful coastal area. You can discover hiking, biking, and fishing in one of the most diverse wildlife ecosystems along the North Carolina coast along the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail! This protected land is home to many habitats and landscapes, providing one of the most unique outdoor experiences in our area.

For more tips, tricks, and information on the best ways to experience the Outer Banks, request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide!

About the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail

The Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve is a protected area of land that’s home to a variety of coastal ecosystems and outdoor recreation opportunities. Over eight miles of trails wind through marshes, wetlands, forested dunes, and interdune ponds, where towering oak and hickory trees provide shade from the sun. The diverse habitats here are rare among barrier islands, especially with the collection of animal life here. Make the most of your time on the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail 

Activities at the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail

Check the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve website for information regarding wildlife spotting, fishing, hiking trails, and more!


Exploring the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail on food is the best way to experience this coastal environment. Running and walking are not only great opportunities to see the variety of landscapes packed into the area, but they are also a fantastic way to get some exercise! You can also hike through some of the unique terrains. This is a year-round destination, but it’s tough to beat a walk along the trails as fall foliage blooms around you.


While you can’t bike on any of the trails in the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve, you can zip along the main gravel pathway running through the center of the park. You won’t be able to see large portions of the area, but it’s an excellent opportunity to travel from one end of the trail to the other. 

Wildlife Viewing

You’ll discover an extraordinary collection of wildlife on the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail. Aside from your common set of squirrels, rabbits, and deer, an array of turtles, lizards, snakes, fish, frogs, and salamanders hide among the brush. Larger mammals like raccoons, foxes, and otters scurry around near ponds. If you look to the skies, you might see hawks, herons, owls, and of course, seagulls. Check out their website for a complete list of species in the park.


You will definitely want to bring your camera with you when you visit the Nags Head Woods Preserve Trail. From the wildlife to the many beautiful landscapes, there are plenty of picturesque spots worth photographing here no matter what time of the year you visit.


Visitors may fish on three of the trails through the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve. The Discovery and ADA trails permit freshwater fishing while the Roanoke Trail allows saltwater fishing. Make sure you get a North Carolina fishing license and look over the rules and regulations before casting your line!

Plan Your Outer Banks VacationBuccaneer Village 1033 balcony view

Pirate’s Cove offers the ultimate Outer Banks experience! Our collection of homes and condos on Roanoke Island can accommodate anywhere from four to 15 guests. We also have a variety of locations around the island ranging from a gated community to waterfront condos near the heart of town.

Start planning your Outer Banks getaway today by booking one of our properties. We look forward to welcoming you to the Pirate’s Cove family!

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