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“A nice little surprise”

Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This easy, 1-mile round trip trail winds through the Hoop Pole Creek's maritime forest and into an estuarine ecosystem. The property is listed as a natural heritage area because of its important ecological values and functions. It serves as a refuge for fish, wildlife and plants while also enhancing water quality. While visiting, you may see a variety of songbirds, wading birds and birds of prey, as well as deer, raccoons, butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, lizards and snakes.
Swink, CO
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“A nice little surprise”
Reviewed 14 August 2013

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:


Visited June 2013
5 Thank MikeSteeves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Windermere, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
737 reviews
314 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 654 helpful votes
“Easy, relaxing trail”
Reviewed 23 July 2013

I happened upon the Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail while stopping to view a Civil War Trail sign. The trail is maintained by the NC Coastal Federation and is only approximately 1 mile total roundtrip. There is a small booklet at the entrance that you can take as well. Parking is in the adjacent shopping center.

The trail guide provides details along the way at numbered stops of different trees and bushes. The views are nice, although maybe not spectacular. There are two viewing areas along the way. The first one is of the marsh, the second is over the Hoop Pole Creek. The trail is easy and anyone would be able to walk it without any problems.

If you are looking for something different to do, or just want to walk off lunch, I would recommend the Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail. Plan on approximately 30 minutes total unless you decide to picnic at the rest area at the turnaround point.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank wbullseye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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