Croatan National Forest

New Bern, North Carolina 28561

Croatan National Forest

Croatan National Forest Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Croatan’s 160,000 acres compose the only true coastal national forest east of the Mississippi River. This unique region is far more than a bog-filled piney woods baking at
the back door of the popular Crystal Coast vacation area. This is one of North Carolina’s most scenic, distinctive natural areas, and great trails make it accessible.

The forest’s summer regime is buggy, snaky, hot, and humid. Some people like that. But don’t sweat it if you don’t. The cooler months of the year (excepting hunting seasons) are an awesome time to discover the area. There’s lush greenery year-round, and the nearby shores of Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach are often as attractive then as in summer. December and March are perfect if you want to get into the deeper woods (there is no hunting then)."

Croatan National Forest Trip Reports

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I did the section between 306 and 101, picking it because of Michael S.' s review. It was a decent hike. I stopped at the ranger station for maps and info. They said it hadn't rained in about 2 weeks and that this part of the trail should be fairly dry. It was except between marker 13-14. In this section I spent most of it blazing my own trail. Very wet and muddy on trail with much of the boardwalk missing or broken. Mosquitos not too bad, but the horse flies were a constant. I was pleasantly surprised by the chantelle mushrooms near the trail and ended the hike with about a half pound!
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The Neusiok is a very nice trail, and well blazed. The blazes use tin for some sections, ribbons for others, which caused us to backtrack to make sure that we had not gone onto a different trail. Vegetation changes markedly on different sections of the trail
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All the trails are a little hard to find but are pretty nice for a short day hike with the family. Watch out for bugs in the summer though, the whole park is a swamp.

Croatan National Forest Photos

Trail Information

New Bern
Nearby City
Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
0.6-6.6 miles
Several options
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Download the national forest’s Recreation Guide, brochures, and maps at
Local Contacts
USGS Swansboro for the Cedar Point Trail; USGS Cherry Point and Newport for the Neusiok Trail; USGS Pollocksville for the Island Creek Trail; USGS Salter Path for Patsy Pond
Local Maps

Trail Log