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1st Time to Hatteras Island

Pittsburgh...
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1st Time to Hatteras Island

Hello everyone and thanks for lending your time, experiences, and expertise! :)

A couple of questions regarding our first trip to Hatteras Island:

A) I've read about remote hiking trails "south of Salvo", but can't locate any more info. Can anyone tell me more? Are there trail-heads leading out of the parking lot at the Salvo Day Use area just south of town? Farther south down NC-12 where we'd look for a trail-head?

B) I've done some reading about the trails in the Buxton/Frisco area. We're a nature-loving family, but a bit limited hiking-wise because of the preschool/elementary ages of our children. We can manage a nice 1-2 mile loop, but any more than that would be too much for us in the July heat. Any recommendations for a safe, predictable (missing a connector trail or popping out 4 miles from the trail-head would pose a problem and make for an unhappy wife and kids) hike in that area?

C) In July, would there be any (privacy & space) benefit to driving a few miles south of Salvo down to one of the 4x4 beach access points? It looks like there are sizable parking lots in at least 2-3 different, remote locations. That time of year, if we were to load up a beach cart and pull it out onto the beach, would we find ourselves a remote, little private spot? Too many trucks coming and going onto the beach ramp? Too many fishermen for it to be quiet and private?

D) What should our expectations be for the Salvo beach in mid-July? I realize that this is a busy time of year, but I'm not sure what to expect. Growing up, the beach that time of year in Ocean City, MD wouldn't be literally towel-to-towel, but at times it was difficult to find an unoccupied spot large enough for a family of 4 to put down blankets and a beach bag. Are we talking "15-20 small family groups as far as the eye can see either way on the beach"? "A family 10 feet away on all 4 sides"? Etc

E) I've found lots of places that let your purchase and either take out or steam-and-take your own seafood. By "steam and carry"...does that imply that a box of crabs would/could be steamed and seasoned?

F) It would have been my strong preference to have gone down in less-populated June, but that didn't work out for us logistically. Any advice/recommendations for people going to Hatteras Island in July - and who value tranquility and privacy?

Thanks! :)

Kitty Hawk, North...
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1. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

First I have never heard of hiking trails here. I know of a couple in Nags Head, but they are not what I would call hiking trails and I know of none on Hatteras. You might hear the term trail as a trail to take you from a parking are over a dune to the ocean, or something like that.

Comparing our beaches to Ocean City is like comparing Podunk City to New York City. The beaches here are not crowded unless you are in front of several hotels and condos and then it's just there and 1/5 mile down the beach is not crowded at all. Check out Google and Bing maps and zoom in on the beaches and scroll up and down. You will see they are not crowded.

The seafood can be raw or steamed and cooked in seasoning. Normally crabs and shrimp come this way. You can buy steamer buckets from places and take them home and put them on the stove to steam them there. I know some area in the NE boil seafood, but here you see them steamed. Lobster might be different but you don't see those except in restaurants mainly.

Edited: 20 February 2015, 21:04
Kitty Hawk, North...
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2. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Here, go to this url and zoom in. See the beach umbrellas? Obviously it was taken in the summer sometime and it's not very crowded.

http://binged.it/1AdwIB8

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3. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

You may have read about the trails thru Buxton Woods. You can see details and a map on the national Park service site: www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/hiking.htm

OBX200 is absolutely right. You have to hunt for a crowded area on Hatteras.

Depending on where you stay, the hike on the path over the dunes to get to the beach may be enough of a walk for you.

Do check out the Facebook page for Oregon Inlet Idiots for some photos of vehicles on "crowded" beaches. Have fun!

Washington DC...
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4. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Take a look at this map www.nps.gov/maps/full.html… the blue lines are the vehicle free areas, no problem with anybody nearby. You also could head north to Pea Island and go over the dune, once again, basically deserted. If you do a day trip to Ocracoke the beach access by the pony pens has very limited people as well

Edited: 21 February 2015, 12:47
Chapel Hill, North...
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5. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Personally I wouldn't plan on hiking anywhere but the beach. You're liable to get eaten up by mosquitos and black flies away from the ocean breeze and it will be very hot and sticky. Just not a fun time in my book. Stick to long walks on the beach. That's great.

Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Wow...what a great link! Thank you so much. I'm seeing green in front of more populous areas...the Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo tri-village...and again in front of Avon...just to clarify, are GREEN areas "vehicle-free" and BLUE areas "vehicles OK"?

...and would this apply during the "high" season in mid-July? Looks like a great "first time" opportunity to drop the tire pressure and to try it out for the fire time...before attempting something more ambitious north of Corolla or down on Ocracoke.

Regarding Pea Island...is there one particular area that is permissible that does not violate "natural area" regulations? The Douglas Island area with access road? Other "inland" sites along the sound-side access road? Etc?

Thanks so much! :)

Pittsburgh...
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7. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Thanks for the link and for the information! In retrospect, the back & forth hike up over the dune might be quite enough for our kids. :)

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Thanks so much...that gives me (a) a rough population expectation and (b) an idea of which way to head from our location for a bit more space...and where too much walking causes you to run back into more populous areas due to beach access. Wonderful information - thank you so much!

Edited: 23 February 2015, 22:05
Pittsburgh...
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9. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Thanks for your feedback! Is the "norm" for takeout steamer baskets to be finished at the home/rental residence? We've done a 1/2 bushel of steamed/seasoned blue crabs in the past and had a ball with it...but they were already 100% cooked and "done". Any need to specify/clarify when calling a tri-village restaurant...or is there a "norm"? :)

Chapel Hill, North...
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10. Re: 1st Time to Hatteras Island

Watch these videos before attempting to drive on the beach:

https://www.youtube.com/watch…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTnkxrEnt7A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PloAPL5WJAA

https:/…

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