Hyde County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: August 9, 2006
Author: Denis Dean

Expecting easy sand dune climbs, I wore flip-flops and shorts -- bad idea.

Drive south from Nags Head on NC-12 to the ferry terminal in Hatteras. The car ferry is free but expect to wait. I arrived at 12:15 pm for the ferry. All six ferries were running and I still had to wait in line 2 hours. Once onboard, the ride took about 30-40 minutes. Upon arrival in Orcacoke Island (which is where the pirate Blackbeard met his fate) continue driving south on NC-12.

I have numbered the areas from east to west. GPS was helpful in getting me to the general areas of these highpoints, although I am sure they are constantly changing with every new hurricane. On all of these points be careful when pulling off onto the sandy shoulders.

Area 1 (spot 27 feet) is a scrubby dune on the north side of the road.

Area 2 (near "Sand (C)" on the topo) seemed higher than 1, I visited the high dunes on both sides of the road.

Areas 3 and 4 -- These dunes are in a mess of cactus, thorns, briars, and bushes on the north side of the road. I cut my legs and feet to shreds and wished I was wearing jeans and boots. My friends shrieked at the sight of my bloody legs when I returned to the truck.

Area 5 (near spot 14 feet) is on the south side of the road in a Pine Thicket. Beware of thorns on this one as well.

Area 6 (spot 26 feet) -- I parked in the paved lot on the north side of the road and bushwhacked north into the nastiness. This one seemed the lowest of the 6.

I believe all these highpoints are on federal land (Hatteras National Seashore) and I didn't see any postings, although it might be different during migratory bird season. During the ferry ride back, I picked the remaining thorns out of my legs.