Though the pristine beaches are certainly the primary draw for most visitors, the Outer Banks offers so much moreâ€”especially when it comes to outdoor recreation.
The unique landscape of coastal North Carolina offers plenty for island visitors to see, and thereâ€™s no better way to explore the coastline than with a scenic bike trip. Whether youâ€™re seeking a leisurely family fun ride or a challenging bike route to get in a workout, weâ€™ve got you covered.
Itâ€™s almost possible to bike the entire length of the Outer Banksâ€”over 100 miles from Duck to Ocracoke. Assuming youâ€™re looking for a more reasonable ride, we can point you in the right direction.
Check out these Outer Banks biking paths and trails for all of your outdoor adventure needs!
For a serene ride, hop on the soundside bike path that runs right through the scenic Kitty Hawk Coastal Reserve. This maritime forest features sprawling marshes and swampland that borders the Currituck Sound. The multi-use path is especially popular for riders that want to also enjoy other beach activities like fishing, kayaking, and more.
For a mix of scenery, explore the Twiford Street Multi-Use Path. At just under one mile in length, this path passes by beautiful island homes as well as native marshes and wetlands. For an extended journey, connect to the David Paul Pruitt route mentioned below.
The David Paul Pruitt Junior Multi-Use Trail offers an easy, breezy path for families. At 2 miles, the path is perfect for small children but easy to link up with additional trails for some extra exploration. The trail starts at Kitty Hawk Road and ends at The Woods Road, connecting two well-known area parksâ€”David Paul Jr. Park and Sandy Run Park. This particular route is an easy ride that is great for spotting local wildlife.
Kill Devil Hills
As the name suggests, the Wright Brothers Multi-Use Path circles the famous Wright Brothers Memorial and extends along the Park Service border. The main path is only 0.5 miles but easily connects to other trails and sidewalks for exploration. This is a great path to explore for a little taste of history.
Outside of the Wright Brothers path, the Kill Devil Hills area is well paved with tons of sidewalks for exploration. The quiet, residential feel makes for a serene ride along the main thoroughfare or to the beach.
A little farther south, Nags Head offers an easy and convenient bike path that runs the length of town, about 11 miles total along NC 12 and NC 1243. The path is long, flat, and paved, making it ideal for sightseeing and group rides.
A similar path exists along the â€śsound sideâ€ť of town along US 158. This particular path leads straight into Jockey Ridge State Park, which opens up into a full selection of boardwalks, paved sidewalks, natural trails, and more, making it a great option for cyclists seeking a challenge and a beautiful oceanfront view.
Bonus for Bikers: Corolla
A short venture north from the main OBX stretch, a trip to Corolla is well worth the effort. This quaint seaside town features an easy 10-mile path that takes cyclists through some of the areaâ€™s most famous landmarks, including the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Outer Banks Center for Wildlife, Whalehead Club in the historic downtown Corolla,Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary, and a charming collection of local restaurants and boutiques. This course makes a scenic ride for Outer Banks visitors of all ages and presents a great opportunity to scout local wildlife and enjoy some local dining (and then work off the calories!).
Outer Banks Biking FAQs
Is it safe to bike on the Outer Banks?
Yes! Biking along the Outer Banks is very safe. Youâ€™ll notice very prominent yellow safety signs all over the coastlineâ€”â€ťBicycles – Share the Roadâ€ť. As a visitor-friendly beach destination, Outer Banks residents and fellow visitors are happy to share the road. Remember to bike on the right side of the road, with traffic, to wear a helmet, and to follow all applicable laws.
Do I have to wear a helmet?
That depends. Riders under the age of 16 are legally required to wear a helmet, though all riders are strongly encouraged to wear a helmet at all times.
Where to get a bike?
Thereâ€™s no shortage of bike rentals along the Outer Banks. For a great deal, check out Kitty Hawk Kites, which offers everything from beach equipment and bikes to boat rentalsâ€”and everything in between. Bike rentals here start at only $10 an hour or $45 per week.
Of course, check with your vacation rental first! Some rentals also include the use of bikes that are conveniently located on-site.