Emerald Isle vacationers can take a quick trip across the bridge to the beach to enjoy a scenic trek through a coastal component of the Croatan National Forest with a visit to the Patsy Pond Nature Trail. Located just across the sound from the Emerald Isle beaches, and found in the small community of Newport, which borders historic Swansboro, this unique destination is a popular site for birdwatchers, outdoorsy-types, mountain bikers, and hikers, and features a network of short and long trails that are sure to energize any explorer.

The Patsy Point region is found on the fringes of the National Forest, and is renowned as one of the most diverse natural areas in coastal North Carolina. There are two well-marked trails that wind though the area, which include a short.75 mile long trail for families and casual visitors, as well as a 1.75 mile trail that’s better for more extended explorations. Trail guides are available for free via the entrance along NC Highway 24, and visitors will enjoy a scenic trek through a wide swath of woods where a variety of plant species and local birds can be spotted with ease. A nice side trip in between Morehead City and Swansboro, this destination showcases the inland Crystal Coast region from a natural perspective.

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