Explore Jockey's Ridge State Park

Thing To Do Explore Jockey's Ridge State Park
A Natural Wonder of the Outer Banks

Jockey's Ridge State Park is a must-visit destination nestled in the heart of Nags Head on the stunning Outer Banks. Towering above the coastal landscape, Jockey's Ridge is home to the largest sand dunes on the East Coast, offering an unparalleled experience for adventurers and nature lovers alike.

Discovering the Dunes

Prepare to be mesmerized as you step onto the soft, golden sands of Jockey's Ridge. With dunes reaching heights up to 100 feet, this 427-acre park made up of natural wonders provides endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. For an extra thrill, consider trying sand boarding or hang gliding at Jockey's Ridge. Rentals and lessons are available for both activities, allowing you to experience the dunes in a unique and exhilarating way. Whether you're gliding down the slopes on a sand board or simply taking in the scenic beauty by foot, the dunes of Jockey's Ridge offer an exhilarating playground for visitors of all ages. And as an added bonus, Jockey's Ridge is free to visit! Dogs are also allowed.

Sunset Spectacular

If you are a photo enthusiast, or simply looking to make your visit more memorable, we plan your. visit around sunset. As the day draws to a close, Jockey's Ridge transforms into a magical setting for witnessing some of the best sunsets around. Climb to the summit of the dunes and watch in awe as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the landscape and painting the sky with vibrant hues of orange and pink. It's a moment you won't soon forget and the perfect way to cap off a day of exploration.

Educational Adventures

Jockey's Ridge isn't just a playground for outdoor enthusiasts – it's also a haven for learning and discovery. Take advantage of the park's educational programs and guided nature tours to gain insight into the unique ecosystem of the Outer Banks. Jockey's Ridge is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you explore the park, but remember to observe from a safe distance and avoid disturbing their natural habitat. From birdwatching to learning about the geology of the dunes, there's always something new to discover at Jockey's Ridge!

Preserving Nature's Beauty

As you explore Jockey's Ridge, you'll quickly come to appreciate the importance of preserving this natural treasure for generations to come. The park is dedicated to environmental conservation and sustainability, and visitors are encouraged to do their part in minimizing their impact on the fragile ecosystem. Remember to stay on designated trails, pack out any trash, and respect the flora and fauna that call Jockey's Ridge home.

Plan Your Visit
  • Bring sun protection - the sun can be intense!
  • Wear comfortable shoes - walking on sand can be challenging
  • Stay Hydrated - walking on the dunes can be physically demanding, especially in the heat. 
  • Check the weather - avoid visiting during thunderstorms or high winds, as these conditions can be dangerous on the exposed sand dunes.
  • Try to visit during off-peak hours - consider visiting early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience.

For more information, visit the NC State Parks page here.

Outdoor Activities for the Whole Family
Whether you like hiking, flying kites, or photography, Jockey's Ridge has it all. Best of all, it's located right in the middle of the town of Nags Head, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and activities to do right at your doorstep! And where is that doorstep? Hopefully in one of our many beautiful Nags Head vacation rentals! Browse Outer Banks Blue's top-rated vacation properties for a memorable beach vacation today. With Outer Banks Blue, you can find the ideal rental for a romantic retreat or a family reunion.