The Enchanting Beach Park In North Carolina You Never Knew Existed
Although located next to one of the most popular destinations on the coast, The North Carolina Aquarium, one might never know this secluded nature preserve exists. Situated on 265-acres, the Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area was gifted to the state of North Carolina in 1971 by the Roosevelt Trust as a way to celebrate Theodore Roosevelt’s dedication to conservation. Today, it serves as a peaceful destination mixed with coastal vibes, thickets of pine forests and water views.
Located on the Crystal Coast in Pine Knoll Shores, it's the largest park in the area featuring two separate trails and multiple water views. Visitors can find the entrance at the west end of the Aquarium parking lot and from there, work their way around a multitude of trails and scenery.
Of the two trails, the more popular is the 1.2-mile Roosevelt Nature Trail. The mile long loop takes you up a high ridge dune, through pine forests, then alongside soundside and interior marshes. If you want to take in the scenery or pack a picnic, there's a number of benches situated along the trail. Bird watchers often bring binoculars as the nature preserve is home to hundreds of migrating species each making appearances throughout the year.
For a shorter journey there's also the Alice Hoffman Nature Trail. The short hike is suitable for all ages and levels. In 1938, Alice Hoffman left her metropolitan, upscale life in both NYC and Paris behind to settle permanently on Bogue Banks. While living on Pine Knoll Shores, she developed a friendship with her neighbor Eleanor Alexander who would later go on to marry President Roosevelt's oldest son. While Alice had no children, she left her estate to Eleanor who would later (with her husband) donate this acreage to the state in part to develop the nature preserve and aquarium.
Today, visitors are treated to a wide array of both scenery and wildlife. On your walk you might encounter otters, marsh rabbits, gray foxes, salamanders, frogs and turtles. For bird lovers, common sightings include egrets, ibises, kingfishers, ospreys and herons.
Theodore Roosevelt Nature Trail is a true hidden gem among the array of vacation homes and tourist attractions. Visitors are advised to get there early as the park closes at 4:30 p.m. From exploring different types of plant life like loblolly pine, wax myrtles and dogwood trees, to coastal wildlife and gorgeous views of the Bogue Sound, this beautiful destination indeed transports visitors away from the modern world and offers two equally stunning trails suitable for all levels.
What a beautiful getaway! Have you visited here before?
You’ll find it next to the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores.
For another stunning getaway,
take this hike to feel at one with nature.
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