by Judith Bailey a Hidden Gem in Kitty Hawk NC
Many years ago, when I first came to the Outer Banks, I made the acquaintence of several members of the Perry family. They all lived in Kitty Hawk Village so I found myself in Kitty Hawk NC quite frequently. We dined on fried soft crabs in season and I chatted with them as they unloaded their fishing boats after a long day on Kitty Hawk Bay.
A lot of the charm of an old coastal fishing village still remains in place and there are a number of new bike paths. This is a trip best made on a bicycle, unless you are up for an eight to ten mile hike. Bicycles can be rented at Kitty Hawk Cycle Company at 203 E. Eckner St. (Call first to make sure he is open.) Take a short trip down the Beach Road to Kitty Hawk Rd. and head toward the village.
If you own a bike, here is an alternative plan. Coming from the north by vehicle, take a right onto W. Tateway Rd. in Kitty Hawk NC and go up the hill. At the top of the hill, turn right again onto what looks like a cul-de-sac. Down the hill is a parking lot and a gazebo. You can park here, unload your bicycle and head north on the bike path that takes you to Moore Shore Road. This is very scenic and runs along Kitty Hawk Bay. There is a fun little bridge, too. I always stop here and watch the minnows play. When you get to Kitty Hawk Road, take a left.
Kitty Hawk Road winds along and is only moderately traveled at 35 mph. In the old days, Outer Banks Contractors had their offices here and it was pretty interesting sharing the road with all those dump trucks. RPC still has offices there but with much less traffic. Now there are only impatient Kitty Hawk Landing-ites who wish you would be moving along, so keep to the bike lane on the side. After a little while you will come to a Y. Turn right onto the Woods Road. This is a beautiful bike path and there is a great little park called Sandy Run Park on the right hand side of the road in a short distance. It has a ramp over a wide estuary and is one of those hidden gems that no one knows about.
The bike path runs through Kitty Hawk Woods Preserve, which is managed by the NC Coastal Reserve. It is almost 100% in its natural state and parts of it have never been developed. During the day there is a cement mixing plant across the water which is a little distracting, but weekends and evenings are quiet and natural. Going onward, you will see a bike path alongside Twiford St. This is a fun little loop that takes you past what used to be the Primitive Baptist Church and comes right back onto Kitty Hawk Road.
You can go right and loop around the cemetery or go left and head back to Moore Shore Road or toward the beach again if you rented your bike. There is a great boat dock with fishing boats, the old schoolhouse that is now the OBX Hostel and a lot of canals, old houses and marsh. Whether you make the long or short ride, you will be traveling through what I used to call "Perry Hawk," because every other house had a Perry living in it. This is about an 8 to 10 mile bike ride altogether. I am not sure of the mileage so don't quote me.
After all that cycling there are quite a few restaurants in the area of Kitty Hawk NC to enjoy a good meal. They have some interesting names too -- Awful Arthur's, Goombay's, Chilli Peppers and don't forget the Rundown Cafe.. Happy cycling!