Kitty Hawk Woods Preserve

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

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1 Review
4 out of 5
A local secret for years, Kitty Hawk Woods is one of five best maritime forests in the world. What makes it special is that plants and animals you would usually find in upland communities exist less than a quarter mile from the Atlantic Ocean. Protected from wind and weather, this creek is home to numerous types of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, otters, nutrias, and reptiles—lots of reptiles. The creek meanders through maritime shrub swamp, forest, sedge, and salt marsh habitat. Each zone has different plants and animals. This 4-mile stretch of channel is known as Jean Guite Creek, High Bridge Creek, or Ginguite Creek, depending on whom you ask. Back in the 1800s, when the Outer Banks boasted a thriving lumber business, Jean Guite Creek served as a protected waterway on which log-carrying barges were towed. This 600-acre preserve is now comanaged by the Town of Kitty Hawk and the North Carolina Coastal Reserve. The channel, widened but left relatively untouched, is perfect for a short trip, a full-day paddle, or as part of a multinight excursion. Although I describe a straight route, take time to explore the side creeks and coves that branch off from the main creek. They all end a short distance from the main course, so you can’t get lost.
Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

by Pam Malec (The Globe Pequot Press)

A local secret for years, Kitty Hawk Woods is one of five best maritime forests in the world. What makes it special is that plants and animals you would usually find in upland communities exist less than a quarter mile from the Atlantic Ocean. Protected from wind and weather, this creek is home to numerous types of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, otters, nutrias, and reptiles—lots of reptiles. The creek meanders through maritime shrub swamp, forest, sedge, and salt marsh habitat. Each zone has different plants and animals.

This 4-mile stretch of channel is known as Jean Guite Creek, High Bridge Creek, or Ginguite Creek, depending on whom you ask. Back in the 1800s, when the Outer Banks boasted a thriving lumber business, Jean Guite Creek served as a protected waterway on which log-carrying barges were towed. This 600-acre preserve is now comanaged by the Town of Kitty Hawk and the North Carolina Coastal Reserve. The channel, widened but left relatively untouched, is perfect for a short trip, a full-day paddle, or as part of a multinight excursion. Although I describe a straight route, take time to explore the side creeks and coves that branch off from the main creek. They all end a short distance from the main course, so you can’t get lost.

©  Pam Malec/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Kitty Hawk
Distance: 8.5
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Year-round, weather permitting
Local Maps: ADC Outer Banks Visitors Map and NOAA 12205
Driving Directions: Directions to Kitty Hawk Woods Preserve

Recent Trail Reviews

6/21/2010
0

Good trip for families. We paddled with our two kids in tandems and it was pleasant. Very quite, not a whole lot of wildlife, but it was very hot. Kitty Hawk Kayaks does charge $5 to launch from their dock, which isn't mentioned in the guide. I would recommend going to the public boat ramp on Bob Perry Road instead. It's free and you can do the same trail.



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Apr 2018