Looking to spend an afternoon with the crisp Fall wind in your hair while you explore the Outer Banks on two wheels? Well…we’ve got you covered with convenient bicycle rentals and these three routes that are sure to deliver to you the sights and sounds vacationers and locals alike have grown to love here on the OBX.
Wide, paved shoulders along many of the popular roadways; multi-use paths on separate alignments; and side paths adjacent to the roads through low-traffic neighborhood streets offer numerous options when deciding the best bicycle path for your Outer Banks excursion! These NCDOT-built paths help to ensure the safety and enjoyment of bicyclists on the Outer Banks, so take advantage of one of these three unique bike routes for an outdoor adventure well spent!
Wright Brothers Bikeway
Connecting the most heavily populated areas of the northern Outer Banks, this 16-mile route begins in Kitty Hawk and technically finishes up in south Nags Head. From the beginning, cyclists will ride through lightly-traveled roads, around the Kitty Hawk Bay, and behind the Wright Brothers National Memorial, merging onto a side path that leads to the ocean.
This route gives riders the option of joining up with the two routes mentioned below for additional riding options, and also the ability to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve, and Jockey’s Ridge State Park, all of which will require crossing a major highway, so be sure to exercise extreme caution.
Mountains to Sea
The state’s Mountains to Sea cross-state route begins in Murphy in the west and ends in Manteo. Entering the Outer Banks from the south, the route comes in from Stumpy Point, Manns Harbor and across the Virginia Dare Bridge onto Roanoke Island. The bridge features a six-foot shoulder and bicycle-safe railings to provide riders extra safety while crossing the 65-feet-high bridge. The views of the Croatan Sound are beautiful as you pass over, and once you’re in Manteo, the shopping, dining and site-seeing abounds around the quaint, historic OBX town.
The Ten Mile Loop
Geared towards the more casual cyclist, this route runs through Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk and connects residential areas to both the ocean and the sound. This route also provides access to the Wright Brothers National Memorial and multiple beach accesses as well. A nice, easy ride with plenty of opportunity to stop and enjoy the water on both sides of the island, this loop is the perfect ride for the entire family!
*Bonus Route: Corolla
A path covering about 10 miles throughout the town of Corolla allows cyclists and beach cruisers to circle some of the area’s most beloved attractions, including the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Whalehead in Historic Corolla and many of the amazing local shops and restaurants to boot!
For detailed maps and more information on these three bike routes, click: here. Remember to always follow the NC bicycling Laws and be sure to exercise caution, especially at intersections and driveways!