This little gem of woods surrounds the North Carolina Aquarium on Roosevelt Drive in Pine Knoll Shores and borders N.C. Highway 58 as it winds through Bogue Banks. Maintained by the aquarium staff and North Carolina State Parks, the 300 acres have extensive maritime forests ponds. The forest attracts naturalists, birders and photographers. There are two trails through the natural area: the Alice G. Hoffman Trail, accessed through the aquarium, and the Theodore Roosevelt Trail, beginning outside the aquarium at the southern end of the parking area.
The soundside trails are a bird watcher's delight. The salt-marsh overlook areas on the aquarium's salt marsh boardwalk leading to the Alice G. Hoffman Trail can be good areas for sighting wading birds and migratory waterfowl, depending on the time of year.
The new TREE-mendous Nature Play outdoor playground features a swinging bridge, a treehouse platform, a climbing net, two slides and a ton of other neat stuff to inspire physicall activity and creative thinking while enjoying the woodland setting. This playground on the Hoffman Nature Trail beyond the marsh boardwalk is open the same hours as the Aquarium which is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Membership or admission to the Aquarium is required, there there is no additional charge for the use of the playground. Admission to the Aquarium is required for the Hoffman trail but not the Roosevelt Trail.
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