For an unfurgettable adventure with your pooch in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, head to Jockey's Ridge State Park! Covering 426 acres in the beach town of Nags Head, it is home to the East Coast's tallest living sand dunes, which can reach over 60 feet. The park comprises three unique ecosystems: the dune system, the Roanoke Sound, and the maritime forest, making it a furrific spot for various outdoor activities.
Jockey's Ridge provides a puptastic location for hang gliding, sandboarding, and kiteboarding. However, if you're visiting with dogs, the best activity to enjoy with your four-legged pal would be hiking. There are three trails for you and Fido to choose from, including the 360-foot boardwalk at the visitor center, the 0.6-mile Soundside Nature Trail, and the 1.2-mile Tracks in the Sand Trail. Tracks in the Sand is the more challenging route and will lead you and your pup through the park's many environments.
During your hike, you may encounter fulgurites, which are glass tubes that form when lightning strikes the sand. Keep your eyes peeled for these special formations, but do not remove them from the park if you find them. Also, note that the sand can get very hot and sand spurs are present, so have Fido wear dog booties. Once you and your best friend get to the top of the ridge, you'll be rewarded with pawmazing views of coastal Carolina, from the Roanoke Sound all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
After all that hiking, make your way back to the parking lot and stop by the adjacent picnic area to recharge and refuel. Here you'll find eight picnic shelters, each equipped with two tables and a grill, plus drinking water and restrooms nearby. Remember to always keep your doggo on a 6-foot leash and clean up after them. Be sure to bring sunscreen, lots of water, and a camera, too! Prepare accordingly, and you and your pup will be in for a pawsome time at Jockey's Ridge State Park!