Home » 1998 Road Trip to Virginia and North Carolina

Jockey Ridge State Park, NC

Tuesday, April 7, 1998 - 10:00am by Lolo
8 miles and 0.25 hours from our last stop


The sun was already getting low by the time we pulled into Jockey Ridge State Park. It had been a long and satisfying day, which included Jefferson's Monticello and the Wright Brothers Memorial. Now that we had had our fill of history, it was time for a little mindless fun, in the form of madly rolling down the largest sand dune on the East Coast.

Boys rolling down the Jocky Ridge duneBoys rolling down the Jocky Ridge duneThe kids, who had just been complaining how tired they were, miraculously found the energy to go charging up the dune--not just once, but several times. They rolled and tumbled down the dune as only 6 and 8 year olds can. I had my own unique style. The views from the top of the dune were incredible. The sun was just setting over Pamlico Sound to the west. In the other direction, we looked out over the Atlantic. It was stunning.

Back at the RV, we spent about 15 minutes trying to de-sand the boys. It was everywhere--in their ears, their noses, and worst of all their hair. Our initial request to not get too sandy was obviously a lost cause. It was just too tempting and too much fun.


Jockey Ridge State Park is a 414-acre park in Nags Head, North Carolina, whose 140-foot-high sand dune is the largest one on the East Coast. The most popular activity in the park is hiking to the top of the dune and enjoying the tremendous views of Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills, as well as the Roanoke Sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The view is particularly spectacular at sunset.

Boys after rolling down dunesBoys after rolling down dunesKite flyers, hang gliders, and sand-boarders come here to enjoy the strong steady breezes--the same reason Orville and Wilbur Wright chose this area for their first flight. Three-hour hang-gliding lessons are available at the hang-gliding facility near the Visitor Center. The gentle slope and soft sand make this a great place for beginners.

The park entrance is at milepost 12 on the U.S. 158 Bypass (South Croatan Hwy).

Jockey Ridge State Park location map

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