Discover Jockey’s Ridge State Park


The East Coast’s Tallest Sand Dunes

Picture a quiet beach with miles worth of flawless sand, gentle waves crashing onto shore and a breathtaking view atop of the Eastern Shores’ tallest sand dune structure. Jockey’s Ridge State Park towers high above all in both height and pleasure. The massive dune system spans over five miles northward and is protected by thick maritime forest meandering through the community.

sand dunes
The Outer Banks’ tallest point of land boasts more than just sand dunes. Jockey’s Ridge offers three different self-guided tours, water activities and airborne activities. There is also three nature trails to adventure through:

The Boardwalk

  • 360 feet long
  • Located next to the parking lot
  • Scenic view on either side
  • Informational displays along your walk giving information on plants and animals who reside in the area
  • A deck with a bench as your final destination with a beautiful view of the dunes

Tracks in the Sand

  • 1.5 mile leveled trail
  • Begins at the parking lot leading its way over the dunes
  • Focuses on the sand dune environment
  • A chance to witness wildlife
  • Must wear shoes on this hike for you never know what plants will be growing in your path!

Soundside Nature Trail

  • 1 mile loop trail
  • End at a great view of Jockey’s Ridge
  • Concentrates on the ecosystems found in the park



But that’s not all. People from all over flock to Jockey’s Ridge because it is home to perfect conditions for both onshore and offshore activities. No matter what your age, you will certainly find a fun activity to do while spending the day in this famous Outer Banks destination.

Water Activities
On the soundside access of Southside Road, locals and visitors come for an adventurous, yet peaceful day of water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing and swimming. These activities are perfect for family vacations to Jockey’s Ridge because there is a shallow swimming place for the kids and the adults can pick up on new skills while kayaking or windsurfing.

Sand Boarding
From October 1st to March 31st, the park permits sand boarding with the possession of a permit from the park office. Sand boarding is similar to snowboarding in that it requires a board with both feet strapped in and uses the same techniques to successfully ride down a dune. However, sand boarding is, of course, taken place on sand dunes, is usually available year-round and you don’t have to wear so many layers! This unique and rare sport is worth a shot if you want to experience a recreational activity that is hard to come by while on a beach vacation, especially on the East Coast.

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Airborne Activities
There are just two types of airborne activities permitted in Jockey’s Ridge, but trust us, you won’t want to miss out. Have you ever wanted to go hang-gliding? Well, this park is the place for you. Jockey’s Ridge offers the most perfect conditions for hang-gliding, so team up with Kitty Hawk Kites to provide lessons for anyone who is willing to try this exciting sport. Visit the Hang-gliding Facility near the Visitor Center before you hit the dunes to sign up! If you rather not be attached to a kite, why not just fly one yourself? Kite Flying is another popular airborne activity to do while in Jockey’s Ridge because of the awesome view from the top of a ridge. Pick out your favorite kite and then let it fly!





CLICK HERE to read more about State Parks in the Outer Banks. 



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