As I mentioned in my last post, a few weeks ago I went down to the Outer Banks for a day to do some easy hiking at Jockey Ridge State Park. I've wanted to visit this park for a few years and finally made time, its only about 2 hours south of Virginia Beach.
Jockey Ridge is a very well maintained park. There are nice picnic areas near the parking lot, an observation deck to watch hang gliders, and a few hiking trails, both pretty easy. Still, I managed to get lost, its difficult to follow a trail in the sand, not like in the forest where trails are easily visible. Fortunately, there aren't many hang gliders in January, so getting off the trail didn't put me in the landing zone, and I pretty much had the park to myself, the only person I talked to was a park Ranger who wanted to meet Chewie and Panzer. The trail was nice and easy, less than 3 miles roundtrip, and not much elevation, the tallest sand dunes on the east coast are only 100 feet high.
One thing I really enjoyed about this park was the many different environments in a small space. There are the barren dunes, a lowland coastal forest, and some beach and marshy areas.
Although leashed dogs are allowed, martinis, apparently, are not.
A word of caution about hiking in the Outer Banks, go in the winter, or wear a lot of bug spray!