Discover the wonders of winter hiking in North Carolina

20 February 2024 | Published By: Hotels OBX

By: Christine Flanagan, Sales and Marketing Manager

Winter Hiking in North Carolina

Hiking in North Carolina is one of our favorite outdoor activities, especially winter hiking! The list of the best hiking trails in North Carolina will depend on the type of hiking you are interested in. Are you looking for a long trail? The most scenic trail? Are you an avid hiker looking for the most challenging mountain to hike, or are you more of a beginner looking for an easy trail? No matter what you are looking for, you’ll see you love hiking in North Carolina.

Does North Carolina have good hiking trails?

Hiking in North Carolina is great! There are hikes and trails for beginners and experts. If you plan a long muti-day hike or just a quick, easy trail, you’ll find it in North Carolina. Some areas are better for beginners when it comes to winter hiking. The mountains will have snow and ice, and you’ll need proper shoes with spikes or studs. Websites like can help you find the best hiking trails in North Carolina.

What is the hardest mountain to hike in North Carolina?

To be honest, we haven’t climbed this path, so we are following the advice of hiking professionals that the portion of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina is the most difficult. The trail crosses several summits, including the 6,643-foot Clingmans Dome, the highest mountain on the long Appalachian Trail. If this is a trail you plan on hiking in North Carolina, do your research first, make sure you pack correctly, and are ready for such a strenuous hike.

What is the longest hiking trail in North Carolina?

The longest hiking trail in North Carolina is currently about 720 miles, called the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. This trail is still being developed, and approximately 15 miles will be added each year until completion.

Best East Coast Hiking in North Carolina

The Outer Banks is such a fun place to visit year-round. If you are planning on doing a little winter hiking on your next trip, here are our top three favorite spots. One of the best parts of winter hiking is the lack of snakes- or at least that’s my favorite part.

· Jockey’s Ridge State Park – Tracks in the Sand

This is a unique hiking experience in North Carolina.  You’ll be walking over the tallest active dune in the eastern United States. The Track in the Sand Trail is a 1.2-mile loop. There aren’t any fees to access the park for the day, and pets are allowed. Remember that the sand can be scorching during the summertime—another perk for planning this as a winter hiking trip.

· Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

A couple of trail options exist at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. The North Pond Wildlife Trail is a little over a mile round trip and is wheelchair friendly.  This is a beautiful location for bird watching, so make sure you bring your camera. There are several elevated areas for better viewing.

· Nags Head Woods Preserve

There are 8 trails within the Nags Head Woods Preserve. The trails vary in distance and difficulty, from an easy walk around a quarter-mile loop to a 3-miler with steep terrain. Sweetgum Swamp Trail and Blue Ridge Trail are two of our favorite trials. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just starting, North Carolina offers a diverse range of hiking trails. When choosing the best hiking trail in North Carolina, several factors should be considered based on your preferences and skill level.
  1. 1. Difficulty level of the trail. If you are a beginner, start with easy trails that are well-marked and have little elevation gain. Intermediate hikers may prefer challenging trails like moderate inclines and rocky terrain. Advanced hikers might seek out more strenuous trails with steep ascents and descents.
  2. 2. Length of the trail. Short trails are great for a quick day hike, while longer trails are ideal for those looking for a more extended outdoor adventure.
  3. 3. Trail features. Waterfalls, scenic overlooks, or wildlife sightings can enhance your hiking experience.
Plan your next adventure by contacting us at (252) 441-6333 or (252) 441-6315. Discover more about our two oceanfront hotels in Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head on the Outer Banks. At the Comfort Inn on the Ocean and the Comfort Inn South Ocean front, we are booking reservations throughout the year! Let us assist you in making your Outer Banks stay memorable! Book today and see why hiking in North Carolina is so much fun! 

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