View Full Version : Neusiok Trail

09-18-2008, 13:33
Has anyone out there hiked this? Any feedback, or suggestions?

09-18-2008, 21:24

Got this from NCNatural via Google on the Neusiok Trail

"Starting on the Newport River at the Newport River Parking area and ending on the Neuse River at Pinecliff Recreation Area, this trail traverses 20 miles of Forest land and crosses several paved and unpaved roads. Trail is blazed. Primitive camping is permitted along the trail, but their are no facilities. Hikers need to carry water and wear boots to cross frequent wet areas. Most people prefer fall, winter and early spring hiking to avoid the heat, insects and snakes. Winter is probably the best time. The trail begins at the low salinity Neuse River estuary, at the Pinecliff Recreation area and traverses sandy beaches, hardwood ridges, cypress-palmetto swamps, pine flat woods, pocosins, and salt marshes before emerging at the high salinity Newport River estuary at Oyster Point, a scant 5 miles from the ocean."

I hiked the MST route through Croatan National Forest last spring. It coincides with most/all of the NT throughthis area, as I remember. We did quite a bit of slogging at the south end of the section. The MST route through CNF was pleasant but generally pretty bland and of course is about as flat a section of trail as I have hiked except for the beach section of the MST. If you're only doing certain sections I'd do those along the western part nearer Charlotte if you're looking for challenge and variety.

If you're interested in a "hiking buddy" (or a shuttle in the Greensboro area, send me a PM or email.

Outlaw ( My '07 inputs are on trailjournals.com for selected MST sections)


09-18-2008, 21:27
PS - The NT was not very buggy, surprisingly, at least when we were there, but of course it was just two dayhikes, not an overnight in the woods.

09-19-2008, 06:13
Thanks for the info. My husband and I are thinking of heading down that way for a long weekend. (We've lived in NC for a while now and have never been out to the coast.) Sounds like a good winter hike.

09-21-2008, 15:58
I hiked all or part of this trail several times when I was in the Marine Corps and when I returned to the Carolina coast for work in 2003-2004. The Neusiok Trail is MUCH better maintained now that it is an official part of the MST than in the mid-90's.

An trip report (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=699448#post699448) I just posted might offer some insight from February 2004. In it, I discuss transport and logistics issues such as water caches, major road crossings, new shelters on the trail and so forth.

If you have questions, please feel free to PM me. The NT is definitely my favorite trail in eastern NC.

It definitely is better as a cooler weather hike.

09-21-2008, 21:48
Thanks for posting that. I enjoyed the pictures. I think we'll try out one of the shelters this winter, instead of stealthing in the mud.

09-21-2008, 22:03
Thanks for posting that. I enjoyed the pictures. I think we'll try out one of the shelters this winter, instead of stealthing in the mud.

The one 1/2-3/4 miles south of 101 would be a good bet. You could place a water cache near the road or draw from the little stream 1/2-mile south of the shelter.

If you visit the one around mile 15 or 16, you can draw from Cahooq Creek, but it is a bit awkward getting to it. It is a bit steep and muddy but doable. I filtered without too much difficulty.

It really is a nice February hike. I did it that month in 1996 with Scouts and in 2004 solo. Much less brush to contend with, no bugs, and only one snake. It's still possible with daytime temps sometimes pushing into the 60's. Nights are comfortably cool, usually 40's or upper 30's.

The flat terrain makes it a really easy walk, combined with patches of open pine forest that seem a little bit primeval.

Have fun, and check with the Forest Service office in advance (during the week) to see if hurricanes have caused any problem conditions. If not, it's a great hike.

01-17-2009, 18:12
Hey Marta,
I thru-hiked the MST and the Neusiok is part of it. When I was through there my hiking pace slowed down because of the amount of giant spiderwebs across the trail. I had to wave my hiking pole in front of me to hopefully catch them before my face did. On the plus side the spiders who made those webs are really interesting. There are two 4 person shelters with wells out there now, Copperhead Landing and Black Jack Lodge. The Neusiok Trail is 22.07 miles and is pretty well maintained. It reminded me of hiking in the middle of Florida except for the alligators and palm trees. Enjoy you time out there.

02-24-2009, 02:17
I just hiked the Neusiok this weekend. As others said, it is very well-maintained. Oyster Point campground is at one end, and we camped there Friday night. There are three shelters, one of them roughly 10 miles in. All three shelters have working wells. There had been pretty heavy rainfall a couple of nights before and we did quite a bit of wading and slogging thru mud in the first half. The second half of the trail was pretty dry, with boardwalks over the swampiest areas. We were going to set up a shuttle leaving a car at the Pine Cliff picnic area, but when we arrived, a backpacker on his way out told us that two members of his party had their cars vandalized that night. We parked near the ferry a couple of miles away and had no problems.

If you don't mind the muddy parts, it's a beautiful hike through several different types of woodland.

02-22-2010, 21:04
I was out there Sunday hiking the northern end. Lots of hikers, a runner, boy scouts, horses riders (English and western), dogs and Mt Bikers. Most people I have ever seen there at one time. As horses do share parts of the trail you do have watch for horse apples.

Winter time is the best time to hike this trail. Also try and avoid it if there has been a hard rain in the past few days. Hike it during the weekday and you will probably have the trail to yourself.

While the Shelters are suppose to be big enough for 5 people (according the brouchure) 3 adults is more like it.

I strongley recommend using hiking poles to check the bogy areas to find the dryest crossing and help you balance. My son and I found that many of the wood planks on the boardwalks make interesting sounds as you tap them with ones hiking poles.