Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve Visitor Information

Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve Outer Banks NC


Nags Head, is truly a vision in its own. Situated on the Outer Banks, Nags Head is a beautiful beach town that’s filled with lots of sunshine, miles and miles of beautiful beaches, restaurants and shops along with all other attractions that you would definitely want in a vacation town that’s well loved and much visited.

But that’s not all about Nags Head. Located just a little west of the beach, there’s a hidden treasure that’s particularly new to a lot of visitors, some don’t even know about it yet… the Nags Head Woods Preserve. A natural site that’s dotted with sand dunes, magical marshes, wetlands and ponds and filled with diverse species of animals and plants. Nags Head Woods Preserve is spread over 1400 acres of pristine forests and has ecosystems to fall in love with. And the best thing? It’s situated just a few minutes’ walk away from the US158 Bypass, making it all the more accessible for all those who visit the Outer Banks.

If you’d like to get a breather from beach vacations but don’t want to head out anywhere far, the Nags Head Woods Preserve on the Outer Banks is what you should head for. This magical place is completely hidden from sight and yet is always open.

In 1974, the Nags Head Woods Preserve was designated as a National Natural Landmark and it is now the first priority of the North Carolina Conservancy to protect the unique habitat situated in the woods.

Up till today, the Nature Conservancy has successfully protected the fragile ecosystem of the Nags Head Woods Preserve and keeps everything updated with regular marine and terrestrial research that monitors programs and focuses on improving trails that tourists and visitors can enjoy.

If you’re a nature’s fan, the Nags Head Woods Preserve can be a dream comes true for you. The beautiful woods consist of diverse ecosystems that are home to more than thousand species of flora and fauna.

Also, Nags Head Woods Preserve has more than 5 total miles of trails that will lead you to locations fulfilling your natural scenery appetite. Take the trails and you will encounter lush wooded dunes, brackish marsh brimming with animals and plant species, peaceful ponds offering lovely settings for a picnic and so much more.

Just so you know, the oak, beech and pine trees along with the hickories in the forests might be more than a few hundred years old.

The Nags Head Woods Preserve offers a total of 7 trails, each one leading to a very special spot and offering a completely different view and perspective of the natural forest preserve. The names of the 7 trails and their difficulties are as follows:

  • The Center Trail (easy walking trail)
  • Sweetgum Swamp Trail (moderate for hiking)
  • Blueberry Ridge Trail (strenuous hike)
  • Discovery Trail (easy walking trail)
  • Roanoke Trail (moderate hiking trail)
  • Americans With Disability Association aka ADA Trail (easy walking trail)
  • Nags Head Town Trail (moderate hiking trail)