Where to park ?????

Finding a parking area for your car when hiking any trail is always a concern

There are four parking lots / areas for the trail

  • All milage is approximate.

  • At Pine Cliffs Recreation Area there is a large parking area. You can leave your car overnight.
  • At Oyster Point there there is a large parking area. You can leave your car overnight. There is a campground host at the campgrounds next to the parking lot, This is where I usally leave my truck when camping overnight.
  • About 1.9 miles north of Hwy 101 on Hwy 306 ( Ferry Rd ) there is a small parking area on the right side of road that can hold 4 to 6 cars/trucks. Once you pass the Fire Station ( 1.4 miles ) on your Left there will be a housing development ( Apple Drive Estates ) on your Right. The parking area is just past the housing area on the Right. The trail crosses Hwy 306 at this location and continues back into the woods to the Right of the Trail Kiosk at the rear of the parking area. There is what looks like a trail or old dirt road to the left of the Trail Kiosk, it is not the trail although it will meet back up with the trail.
  • On Hwy 101 there is a brand new hikers parking area where the trail crosses the highway. It was just built August 2015 in a joint effort between the Croatan NF, NCDOT and the Cateret County Wildlife Club. This parking area is large enough for about 6 cars.

  • This new Hwy 101 parking area is 15.8 miles north of Beaufort and 6+ miles south of Havelock

    No more parking on the shoulders of Hwy 101
  • You can park on the shoulder of Mill Creek Road north ( downhill ) of where the trail crosses Mill Creek Road. There is enough room for 2 cars on the North side of the road. If it has been raining, the road shoulder can be very muddy.
  • While I have not heard of any cars being broken into when left overnight at any of the locations in several years, it is always a possibilty. Please make sure anything of value is locked in the trunk and or hidden from view to reduce temptation. When I leave a car overnight I drive my 22 year old pickup truck. It is the true beater truck and looks bad enough that thieves might take pity on me and leave something better in it's place.

  • If water is a concern then you can always stash/stage/hide some water jugs/bottles close to a parking area you will be crossing on your hike. Please remember to take the empty water bottles with you.
  • You can also access sections of the trail via several dirt / Forest Service Roads. The roads can be rough if it has been awhile since they were graded but can be driven by a sedan / small car like a Ford Focus. 4 Wheel drive is not needed. These roads are not shown on most maps and when they are shown, they are usually not labeled.

    • You can park along the dirt forest service roads closs to where the trail crosses the roads. Please pull over far enough so that you are not blocking the dirt road
    • Billfinger Rd FSR 147 ( dirt ) located 17.2 miles west of Beaufort and 5 miles east of Havelock ( just west of Hwy 306 ). Billfinger Rd ends at Deep Creek Rd. It is on the East bound side of Hwy 101
    • Deep Creek Rd FSR 169 ( dirt )is located 13.9 miles west of Beaufort and 8 miles east of Havelock and is located next to the Easter Lilly Lodge. Billfinger Rd runs into Deep Creek Rd about 1 mile in. The trail uses Deep Creek Rd as part of the trail. Continue on another 2 miles and you will see where the trail heads back into the woods. The Carteret County Wildlife Club is working on getting the trail off the dirt road and into the woods. About 0.5 miles of the new trail section has been completed and is on the west side of the road.
    • Alligator Tram Rd FSR 124 ( dirt ) is about 1.3 miles east on Old Wineberry on the east bound side of the road. It is about 1+ mile drive back to where the trail crosses the road. Very little room to park along this road.

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New Hwy 101 hikers parking area. The trail continues back into the woods to the left of the trail kiosk.
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Hwy 306 ( Ferry Rd ) parking lot. The trail goes back into the woods to the right of the parking area as you are looking at it in this picture
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Pine Cliffs Recreation Parking Area. The trail head will be on the other side of the picnic shelter. There is no water at this location.
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Oyster Point Parking Area. The trail head will be to the right of the trail kiosk. The camp ground is also to the right. There is water at the campground.