This 1,100-acre preserve in Dare County is owned by the Nature Conservancy in conjunction with the towns of Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head, and protects one of the few remaining maritime forests along the Outer Banks from development. Two large sand dunes, Jockey's Ridge to the south and Run Hill to the north protect the forest from the ocean saltwater and the protected freshwater allows diverse flora and fauna to thrive. The best way to experience this unique ecosystem is along the preserve's five or so miles of hiking trails. The Blueberry Ridge trail, which includes the Center and Sweetgum Swamp Trail is great choice for viewing ponds, swamps, and dunes within the preserve. The preserve is a great alternative to crowded beaches when vacationing in the Outer Banks. However, during the summer especially, be sure to wear plenty of bug spray.
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