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The Neusiok Trail, named for the Neusiok, the indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands in present day North Carolina, was cleared in the 1970's by the Carteret County Wildlife Club with help from the US Forest Service.

Photos Courtesy of Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

The Neusiok Trail is one of the longest continuous footpaths in Eastern NC at 20.4 miles, stretching from a sandy beach on the Neuse River to a salt marsh on the Newport River. The trail is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, North Carolina's 1175 mile state trail.

Carolina Nature Coalition members and friends met at the trail head (photo above), and were guided by Luke Bennett, NC Wildlife Federation, Conservation Coordinator for this hike.

Photo Courtesy of Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

Part of the Croatan National Forest, the Neusiok Trail is habitat for wildlife including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bears, otters, grey squirrels and alligators. You will find abundant bird life including ospreys, bald eagles, warblers, vireos and flycatchers.

The mixed hardwood and pine woodlands are home to tanagers, thrushes, nuthatches, chickadees, wrens and woodpeckers as well as the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers that have been observed nesting in the Croatan NF.

Several unusual plant species thrive within the boundaries of the Croatan NF. These include the Venus flytrap, and other carnivorous or insect-eating plants such as sundew, butterwort, and pitcher plant. Cypress swamps, hardwood ridges, longleaf-pine savannahs and pocosin habitats, essentially shrubby bogs, are common to the Carolina coast.

Photo Courtesy of Veronica Campos-Hallstrom

While it's unlikely to see snakes, black racers sometimes cross your path. Poisonous snakes - copperheads, cottonmouths, timber and pygmy rattlesnakes all live in the Croatan NF, so it's wise to watch your step. Mosquitoes are plentiful and ticks are likely, so use bug spray when you hike.

Today, the Neusiok Trail is maintained by the Carteret County Wildlife Club in partnership with the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail with help from the US Forest Service. On September 30th, the Wildlife Club is hosting it's 50th anniversary of opening of the Neusiok Trail. Join Manley Fuller, staff at NCWF, who will be leading a celebration hike.

Veronica Campos-Hallstrom has generously shared her stunning photos and videos from the hike. Please visit our Facebook page to view all the photos

Carolina Nature Coalition owes a huge thank you to Luke Bennett for acting as our guide for an outstanding experience on the Neusiok Trail.

"There's no WiFi in the forest, but I promise you'll find a better connection."

Author Unknown


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