Jockey's Ridge State Park, Nags Head

4.8
#1 of 117 in Parks in North Carolina Coast
Geologic Formation · State Park
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See the tallest sand dune on the Atlantic coast at Jockey's Ridge State Park, and look below the dune for a hiking trail through a maritime forest. Try picnicking, bird watching, kite-flying and even hang gliding at North Carolina's most-visited park. At an estuary just below the dune, head for a swim or go kayaking. The visitor center has an exhibit hall where you can learn about the park and its history. Remember to be cautious of hot sand. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Jockey's Ridge State Park and many more Nags Head attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Nags Head day trip planning tool.
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Jockey's Ridge State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,297 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We loved Jockey's Ridge State Park! In fact, this was probably where we spent the majority of our one-week vacation in OBX. We started with the kite festival on 9/11 where we could join the fun of.....  more
    We loved Jockey's Ridge State Park! In fact, this was probably where we spent the majority of our one-week vacation in OBX. We started with the kite festival on 9/11 where we could join the fun of.....  more »
  • Walking on the dune trail was a lot of fun. It felt as though you were in a desert when you saw the big sand dune. Plan to do this walk during the cooler time of the day, not at 12:00 pm. 
    Walking on the dune trail was a lot of fun. It felt as though you were in a desert when you saw the big sand dune. Plan to do this walk during the cooler time of the day, not at 12:00 pm.  more »
  • This was probably my favorite place on the Outer Banks. We went close to sunset and it was such a peaceful, beautiful place. It was so calming to walk barefoot across the dunes, watching the kites... 
    This was probably my favorite place on the Outer Banks. We went close to sunset and it was such a peaceful, beautiful place. It was so calming to walk barefoot across the dunes, watching the kites...  more »
Google
  • I always love coming here, and my recent visit on vacation was no exception! The building was closed, but that certainly does not prevent you from going walking around it to access the sand! Is there some sort of trail here? I know this is the end of the mountain-to-sea trail but I thought there was a trail specifically around the park. Plenty of big dunes to take a fun tumble down, and this park contains the highest point in Dare County! They also offer hang gliding here! If you look hard enough you can find the other end of the water too! But what is this mysterious castle structure I took a picture of? There are also showers for your feet at the entrance building, and you will definitely need it!
  • My kids love this place. I do probably more than them...it's a really big hill of sand, which doesn't sound enjoyable at all, but the entire ecosystem captured there is incredible. Pack sunscreen, it'll be hot, but at the bottom of the dune, just as you come off the boardwalk, is a little basin where the water filters down and settles. The water is very warm and filled with tadpoles, which thrilled my kids to death. Take a kite and hold on, the winds will lift it high and fast. Watch the hang-gliding lessons and explore all the little paths. Great views of both the ocean and the sound
  • Without a doubt this park is gorgeous, my review is about the staff which unfortunately was rude during our family visit. In the end, my recommendation is to please call in advance should you need assistance in one of their go carts to access the park. (This park has many sandy walking trails and dunes to walk/climb.) My family is not as outdoorsy as me, I love the outdoors and visiting state parks because being educated by the locals is a highlight. This is the unfriendliest park I've ever visited. My sister (who is pregnant) walked up to someone working there, asking if we could have or book a ride to access the park as a family. He quickly retorted and I heard, "You need to have a physical disability." He said that, to a pregnant person, with a 3 year old son, and a 70 year old man. In the cart, he was carrying what appeared to be an able bodied adult man, and two children that appeared 7-10 years and able bodied. When my sister asked again, explaining about her son and 70 year old father, he was rude, answered, "You need to book that a day in advance." He gave two answers contradicting himself, he didn't seem to educate us at all about the park. I understand if parks have their protocols in place for transportation, this review is about the rudeness my sister and family experienced. He honestly seemed annoyed that she was there at all, asking for help. Which is exactly what a state park worker is supposed to do, help the visitors understand and access the park! We ended up walking a little and enjoyed the wind with a kite we bought. My 3 year old nephew enjoyed it, and my 70 year old father walked the flat dunes a short distance. You will need good walking shoes and physical agility to negotiate the higher dunes. We also saw the go car drive by having a wonderful time as we walked in the park. And if you need physical assistance, please call at least one day in advance.
  • Always have to make a stop here while visiting the Outer Banks. This is a must stop if you are a first time visitor. The facilities have always been clean. The gift shop and vending machines are there if you need a snack or a beverage to cool off. I would suggest bringing some water. It gets hot on top of the ridge. However its worth the hike because the view is amazing.
  • My girls crested the first small sand dune and it was really fun to listen to them talk about what they saw next. "That's the biggest dune in the world!" Really fun place to walk and get some quiet time. The parking lot had plenty of shade and places to eat lunch. Special place, a must visit on the Outer Banks!

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