Buxton Woods Trailhead

The trail leads through a maritime forest.
Trail through the woods

Quick Facts
Buxton, NC
Hiking Trail

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Parking - Boat Trailer, Parking - Bus/RV, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead

Here in Buxton Woods, a Hatteras Island maritime forest, look past the oceanfront sand dunes and discover the towering pine trees, thick sandy ridges, small ponds and marshes, and the menagerie of local island wildlife. A 1¾-mile long, self-guided, loop trail leads from the picnic area through Buxton Woods, and back again. Along this relatively level path, you can see the diverse forest ecosystem up-close, practice your skill at identifying trees, listen to the call of birds, and traverse some of the highest points on Hatteras Island.

With both saltwater and freshwater ponds, and a canopy of pines or centuries-old live oaks, the maritime forest is able to support a variety of species that are normally unheard of on a barrier island. These species include red-tailed foxes, raccoons, river otters, mink, deer, squirrels, and even a variety of forest-dwelling or marsh-dwelling birds like cardinals, falcons, owls, and bald eagles.

Buxton Woods also has its fair share of reptiles, which often make skittish runs across the trail. These species include green anoles, eastern box turtles, and southern dusky salamanders.

Note that for hikers, bug spray is all but required in Buxton Woods, regardless of the season. A warm winter day can produce green flies, black flies, or even mosquitos just as well as a warm summer day can. Be sure and load up on the bug repellant before embarking on any Buxton Woods hike.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Last updated: February 16, 2021