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Croatan National Forest

Pocosin Bog
Croatan National Forest is one of four national forests in North Carolina and the only truly coastal forest in the eastern United States.  As a coastal forest, Croatan is surrounded on three sides by water - the Neuse River, the White Oak River and Bogue Sound.  The total area of the forest is just under 160,000 acres.  The forest was established in 1936 and is administered by the National Forest Service, a part of the US Department of Agriculture.  The forest is located in Cartaret, Craven, and Jones Counties.

Contact Information:

141 E. Fisher Avenue
New Bern, NC 28560

Phone: (252) 638-5628


Pine Cliff Recreation Area:

From US-70 in Havelock, turn onto NC-101 and go 5.3 miles to NC-306 (Ferry Road).  Turn left on NC-306 and go 3.3 miles to Forest Road 132.  Turn left on FR-132 (unpaved) and go about a mile and a half to Pine Cliff at the end of the road.


Pine Cliff Recreation Area:

Pine Cliff Recreation Area has the northern terminus of the Neusiok Trail as well as fishing and picnicking opportunities.

Pine Cliff Recreation Area



The forest has many miles of hiking trails, both for day hiking and backpacking.  See the Trails Section below for descriptions of individual trails.


Neusiok Trail:

The Neusiok Trail, part of the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail is the premier hiking trail in eastern North Carolina.  Although the total trail is more than 20 miles long, it crosses roads in several places, breaking the trail up into nice sections for shorter hiking.

Pine Cliff to NC-306:

Length: 6.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy

The Pine Cliff to NC-306 section is perhaps the most scenic section of the trail.  It starts at Pine Cliff Recreation Area and leads along the beach for a ways before darting into the woods.  There are several boardwalks that lead over pocosin bogs.  About 3 or so miles into the hike is Copperhead Landing shelter near Cahoogue Creek.  There is no potable water here, but a shelter for rest or to grab lunch.  The trail continues along another couple miles before reaching NC-306.

Pine Cliff Beach

NC-306 to NC-101:

Length: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy

This section is also called Toad Wallow or Cottonmouth Spa, as these are carved into the boardwalks.  Quite a bit of this section has boardwalks leading over boggy areas.

Weetock Trail:

The Weetock Trail is not much of a trail, more of a general route that requires extensive extensive bushwhacking!  The US Forest Service re-routed the trail in 2007, which is one reason it can be difficult to follow.  However, if you don't mind a little bushwhacking and getting a little bit lost, it can be a very fun trail.

WARNING: The trail is extremely difficult to find, so it is strongly advised to have a guide who has walked the trail before.  Since blazes can be scarce in some areas, it is also advisable to have a GPS with the route loaded to follow.

The trail starts on NC-58 in Stella across the street from the Davis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.  The trail leads west through the woods along low bluffs near Hunters Creek and a giant sawdust pile.  The trail then proceeds north parallel to the White Oak River for a ways and finally leads to Haywood Landing.

External Links:

National Forest Service website: http://fs.usda.gov/nfsnc

Neusiok Trail website: http://www.neusioktrail.org/index.html

Cartaret County Wildlife Club: http://www.clis.com/canoe2/


Croatan National Forest


Croatan National Forest