Are you searching for an awesome summer bike trip? Consider a weekend bike trip in the Outer Banks, riding from Kitty Hawk to Ocracoke and back again. The scenery is gorgeous and the route is mostly flat, with only one hill on the bridge (see pictures). Although 170 miles round trip, we somehow convinced 7 other friends that this was a good idea ;).
Total Distance: 170 miles
Days Needed: 2 (85 mi/day)
Route: There is only one road through the Outer Banks, so no need to worry about getting lost. Traffic is light to moderate, depending on the the weekend and time of day. Pea Island presented lots of sand, you have been warned. Overall, the route is flat and scenic with convenience stores every 10-15 miles.
- Bodie Island Lighthouse – To see this black and white horiztonally striped lighthouse, you must take a short detour. Bathrooms are on-site. Mosquito swarms can get pretty thick, I recommend biking loops around the parking lot while waiting for your group to use the bathroom and finish up pictures.
- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse- Like Bodie, a short detour is required to see this black and white spiral striped lighthouse, although it is well worth the trip. The visitor’s area has bathrooms, benches, and a short boardwalk to rest or refuel.
- Ferry Ride to Ocracoke- To get to Ocracoke, you must ride the Ferry (fare is free). This is a great opportunity to rest and refuel, enjoy the breeze and scenery, and regroup before riding the last 10-12 miles. The ride is about 40 minutes long.
- Ocracoke Lighthouse The Ocracoke lighthouse is solid white. We didn’t take much time to enjoy it though, we were so eager for food and our beds!
- Piers at Ocracoke- Ocracoke is a very charming town and well worth the visit. Again, my energy was flagging at this point in the day. I unfortunately didn’t take in the scenery as much as I would have liked!
Places to Sleep:
- Days Inn (Kitty Hawk)- This hotel was a typical Days Inn, which included a standard continental breakfast (cold). The stay was $191 per night.
- Anchorage Inn (Ocracoke) - Most hotels in Ocracoke require you to book for two nights. The Anchorage Inn allowed us to book one night. The hotel is also right on the water, which is beautiful. We had first level rooms with outdoor access, which was perfect for rolling the bikes in and out of the room. If you choose to stay here, please be sure to request this. Breakfast is included, however, this was basically packaged muffins, plain bagels and cream cheese, and drip coffee. The stay was $119 per night.
- Panniers: A front pannier is a little excessive, but a back pannier is required. Pack light!
- Lots of water/gatorade: The ride is filled with salty air, sand, heat, and long distances. Be sure to heavily hydrate and stop frequently to refuel.
- Gator skin or other puncture resistant tire: Although you are biking on paved roads, you will also frequently bike over sand drifts, rocks, shells, and other debris. Be sure that your tires can meet the challenge.
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellent
What We Wish We Would Have Done Differently:
- I wish we would have taken our bikes through Brew-Thru at the end of the trip :)
Have you biked OBX? What long bike rides do you recommend? Comment Below!