Hoop Pole Creek! I thought it had been paved over and filled with condos and marinas!
We stumbled on this one while we were visiting my sister in Davis, NC. She had a touristy magazine that had an article about this little gem.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ... long before the first condos went up on Atlantic Beach and long, long before that shopping center was even a developer's dream ... I used to visit Hoop Hole Creek to catch small jumping mullets and mud minnows and shrimp for bait for fishing on the ocean side piers. There was a little paved road that extended off the main road (NC 58), then only two lanes wide through the overhanging yaupon and scrub oak.
Leece and I visited it this past year. The old side road is still there but it's blocked off; you have to go into the Atlantic Station Shopping Center and park behind the Bojangles. The trailhead historical markers are just across the shopping center entrance road.
There is a boardwalk across the marshy area, to the old roadway. This is all heavily shaded by trees in a sort of small slice of maritime forest. Once on the old roadway, turn toward the sound and walk along what is now a paved trail. There are a couple of side trails off into the forest. The whole thing is only about half a mile long, but it presents some good birding and scenery opportunities.
You won't need sunscreen or a lot of water on this short hike, but you will need mosquito repellent and lots of it. This is a marshy area, and the bug population is one thing that hasn't changed in the last half century.
It's well worth taking an hour or so for a quick walk through, or more time to try to get some photos.
There's no food or drink available, but Atlantic Station has all that. Hoop Hole is also navigable by wheelchair.
Here is the trail's website:
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