We had a week-long break at the end of March, so we decided to drive from Brevard, NC (our last visit before our break) to Savannah, GA, and work our way up the coast, ending up around Havelock, NC (our next visit). We searched for singletrack in Savannah and found it at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, rife with alligators, wild hogs, birds and armadillos (and plenty more, I’m sure). It was mostly doubletrack among the swamp, but very fun. We got to see lots of wildlife that most people never get to see, which leads me to believe that not too many people make it out to the refuge, a bummer.
Then we headed up the coast and hiked along the way at the Sandpiper Trail (south or Myrtle Beach, just drive through that town, don’t stop), and after that (and a quick overnight in Wilmington, NC, super cute town on the coast), we spent a week in the Outer Banks. We took the ferry from Beaufort to Ocracoke, and Ocracoke was by far our favorite island – beach-y charm but without the toursity feel, a few great restaurants and shops, bike path all along the island, and beautiful beaches. My favorite memory was riding along the beach and seeing pods of dolphins scamper down the coast.
The further north you go in the Outer Banks (by car and far), the more touristy it gets because you’re getting closer to major population centers. We still rode a bit on our way to Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills, but those places weren’t as charming. There’s fairly good beach camping (just make sure you’re not in a tornado’s path, or you’ll have to wake up at 5:15 a.m. and quickly pack up your tent and go to shelter…speaking from experience) and great wildlife refuges to see. I’m sure that in the summer you’d be kept busy all day long with surfing, SUP’ing, kayaking and swimming. We’d definitely go back to Ocracoke in the high season to take advantage of the heat and activities.