|Croatan National Forest (34.691864, -77.086081)
National Forest Map: .jpg, .pdf
Cedar Point Tideland Trail Map:
.jpg 1, .jpg 2, .pdf
Island Creek Forest Walk Map: .jpg, .pdf
Neusiok Trail Map: .jpg 1, .jpg 2, .pdf
Patsy Pond Nature Trail Map: .jpg, .pdf
Counties: Carteret, Craven, Jones
Trails: 40.5 miles
Hours: Always open
Visitor Center Hours: 8 AM - 4:30 PM, Mon - Fri
Encompassing 160,000 acres of coastal forest and wetlands, Croatan National Forest is North Carolina's only large coastal forest and one of the few places where the pocosin (a subcategory of wetland) can still be found. A network of access areas features camping, 43.1 miles of hiking trails, fishing, picnicking, nature walks, boating, and more.
Cedar Point Tideland Trail (1.9 miles, easy)
Island Creek Forest Walk (0.5 mile, easy)
Neuse River Trail (3.0 mile, easy)
Neusiok Trail (20.4 miles, easy)
Patsy Pond Nature Trail (3.7 miles, easy)
Weetock Trail (11 miles, easy)
Croatan's brackish waters are a valuable commercial nursery for oysters, shrimp, and crabs. Other notable residents include black bear, alligator, belted kingfisher, wild turkey, red-winged blackbird, and fish crow. The park is a nesting area for wading birds including common egret, snowy egret, great blue heron, little blue heron, and tri-colored heron.
In May and June deer flies (yellow flies) may be a nuisance. Chiggers, ticks, and mosquitoes are also common, especially in warmer months.
Croatan is dominated by coastal forest and wetlands, and hosts common NC flora from both. Carnivorous plants including the venus flytrap, sundew, pitcher plant, and butterwort can be found here. Along with Alligator River, Croatan is one of the few remaining pocosin wetlands.
Brice Creek, Cahooque Creek, Catfish Lake, Cedar Point, Fishers Landing, Great Lake, Haywood Landing, Long Point, Neuse River, Oyster Point, Patsy Pond, Pine Cliff, Siddie Fields