Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Editors Note

I visited this park when it was extremely flooded after the hurricane that swept through the outer banks. Because of this, I had to take a few detours and my post may not be fully accurate to what  you would experience if you went today. I hope to be able to go again some day.

This being said, Jockey’s Ridge still provided one of the most unique park experiences that I have been to yet.

Location and Finding the Park

The park is located right along the highway down the outer banks. You can’t miss it. An important thing to remember is that the park is not along the ocean- it’s on the Roanoke Sound near the dunes that the wright brothers would use to test their gliders and concept planes. The park office is a wind powered building that is right next to the hang gliding school where you can take lessons out on the dunes. This was on the wishlist but the price was a tad high for the trip.

Exploring the Dunes

For anyone who is unable to hike out onto the dunes and explore the tracks in the sand trail, there is a boardwalk that goes out a few hundred feet and allows you to take an overlook onto the dunes. This is a worthwhile view no matter your hiking plans, and you can walk down to the sand from here. When I got out onto the sand, there was quite a bit more water than usual. I had to hike around the giant pond that had built up in order to follow the trail.

Hiking the dunes is a difficult task. The main reasons being: steep inclines, wind, and walking through the sand while it pulls you down into it. However, it is absolutely worth it as the views are incredible.

Viewing the Forest and Sound

The trail takes a steep slope down into the forest and eventually out to the edge of the sound. You can check this out in the pictures below. It’s an absolutely beautiful park!