Outer Banks Running: 7 Best OBX Runs That Aren’t the Beach

In honor of National Running Day, we rounded up a list of a few of our favorite scenic jogs around the Outer Banks! You don’t have to be a runner to get out and enjoy the sights. Many of these routes are perfect for walking or bikes too! Whether you’re into trail running or prefer to stick to paved paths, there is sure to be a place nearby with no shortage of breathtaking scenery. Take your pick from these OBX runs, grab your workout buddy and head outdoors!

 

Kitty Hawk Covered Bridge1. Kitty Hawk Woods Multi-use Path & Coastal Reserve:

Centrally located on the Outer Banks, this dedicated nature reserve is a great place for a jog! Stay on the paved multi-use path for a scenic run through Kitty Hawk, or make your way through the woodsy maritime trails to discover beautiful coastal sights, wildlife, and even a charming covered bridge. Parking is available at David Paul Pruitt Park or Sandy Run Park in Kitty Hawk along the multi-use path. Access the interior trails via Trailheads located at Birch Lane, Ridge Road, or the intersection of Amadas Lane and Colleton Ave. Parking is limited. Find a map and more info on the NC Division of Coastal Management Website.

 

 

 

 

jockey's ridge sign2. Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve:

A Natural National Landmark, the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve boasts 7 different trails to explore, each offering its own unique experience. One of the trails even runs through Jockey’s Ridge State Park, home of the largest living sand dunes in the country! Beginners can choose a small .5 mile loop or experienced runners will enjoy a longer 3-mile trek. Parking available at 701 West Ocean Acres Drive, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948. View a brochure with more info and trail maps on The Town of Kill Devil Hills website.

 

 

 

 

 

corolla boardwalk and trees3. Currituck Banks Reserve

Located just South of the 4-wheel drive area in Corolla, you can try your luck at getting a glimpse of Corolla’s Wild Spanish Mustangs without a 4×4 vehicle! Stay on the boarded walkway for a short half mile round trip jaunt, or take the wooded trail for a longer 1.5-mile loop. Each path leads you through beautiful live oaks and ends with views of the Currituck Sound. Parking is available in the lot on the left-hand side of Route 12, just as the road makes a sharp right turn. If you hit the sand you’ve gone too far. NC.gov has some good resources including a brochure with info on wildlife and plants you might find along the way.

 

 

 

 

corolla greenway

4. Corolla Greenway

Spanning from the Ocean Sands Community to the 4-wheel drive area, explore Corolla via this well-maintained path. Detour through some of the most popular Corolla neighborhoods, take a break with a sound view, or stop into one of many shops and restaurants along the way. This 6-10 foot wide path is perfect for families to enjoy as a group! You can’t miss it–Corolla Greenway runs parallel to Route 12. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary:audubon sign

If you enjoy birdwatching, you’ll love this run! 2.5 miles each way, this nature trail winds through loblolly pines & live oaks. Two lookouts along the trail provide views of the Currituck Sound and marshy wetlands–the perfect spot to watch for waterfowl and other wildlife. Access the trail behind the Pine Island Racquet Club or at the County line near the Sanderling Resort. Get familiar with some of the birds you might see on your journey first by visiting the Audubon Society’s Website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kids with wagon

6. Kill Devil Hills Multi-Use Path:

This route offers just over 3.5 miles of scenic, wide-open path to enjoy. The multi-use path runs along Bay Drive, Canal Drive, and West First Street. It also connects to the Wright Brothers Memorial, so you can take a page out of Rocky’s book and run to the top of this national landmark!

 

 

 

 

duck boardwalk sunset

7. Duck Trail:

Known as the most pedestrian-friendly OBX town, Duck offers a 6-mile path that runs the entire length of the town. It provides access to the Duck Town Park, Duck Boardwalk, and plenty of fun stops along the way. Swing by the waterfront shops for a new t-shirt or cool off with a beverage at one of the awesome restaurants in town. We recommend timing your run around sunset so you can grab a pic from the sound side boardwalk while you’re at it!

 

Races on the OBX

Run a 5K during your Outer Banks vacation and earn a unique souvenir – an OBX medal! The OBX Running Company hosts races in several Outer Banks towns throughout the summer.

 

Lace-up and enjoy the view!

running shoes and reflection in Corolla

 

 

 

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