Jockey's Ridge State Park
Nags Head, North Carolina Photos by Ray Matthews
Park Info
Friends of Jockey's Ridge  
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Self-Guided Hiking Trails

Tracks in the Sand is a 1.5 mile leisurely paced trail that begins at the parking lot and goes over the dunes, to the soundside, and back. The trail focuses on the harsh, yet fragile sand dune environment and the plants and animals that call it home. Shoes are a must.

boardwalkA 360-foot boardwalk is located near the parking lot. It is perfect for people who prefer a shorter trip or would rather stay off the sand. Interpretive displays along the route offer information about the plants and animals in the area. A deck with a bench is at the end with a great view of the dunes.

Soundside Nature Trail – 1 mile loop that begins at the soundside parking lot and leads to an overlook. This trail focuses on the estuary and scrub thicket ecosytems found at the park.

Airborne Activities

Hang-gliding is allowed on certain dune faces in the park. Only those persons with a USHGA Hang 1 or other agency-approved rating card may hang-glide on Jockey's Ridge. All hang-gliders must register with the Park Office. Hang-gliding activity stops one hour before the park closes. Lessons are available from Kitty Hawk Kites at the Hang-gliding Facility near the Visitor Center. Landing areas are designated by orange cones.

Kite Flying – The views are great from the top of the ridge, and so is the wind! Head on up and let your spirit (and your kite) soar. Please be considerate and conscious of safety concerns if you are flying a stunt kite.


Sand-boarding is allowed in a designated area of the park from October 1 to March 31. Permits must be obtained from the park office. Parents have to sign for anyone under 18.

Water Sports

Kayaking, windsurfing and swimming are permitted at the soundside access off of the Soundside Road. The Roanoke Sound is a great, shallow place for playing in the water. Access to the sound is located on the southwest corner of the park. To get to the parking lot, take a right onto Soundside Road just past the dunes, and go until the road starts to curve to the left. The entrance to the parking area is on the right. Windsurfers must use designated launch area.
The Friends of Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Ray Matthews Photos © Ray Matthews