Four hours east of Fort Liberty, past forgotten farms and miles of swampland, is one of the world’s many natural wonders. A mountain of sand called Jockey’s Ridge rises over the town of Nags Head in North Carolina’s famed Outer Banks.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park is home to the tallest dunes on the East Coast, which makes it the perfect place to try sand sledding! We added this unique activity to our North Carolina Bucket List years ago and couldn’t wait to give it a try!
There is no admission fee and plenty of parking. The park features several hiking trails, a boardwalk, a hang-gliding school, and a museum. You could easily spend the whole day here.
While I would have loved to hike the trails at Jockey’s Ridge, my kids couldn’t wait to slide down the tallest dunes we’ve ever seen!
These lightweight foam sleds were perfect for surfing down the mounds of sand. They are more like a boogie board than a traditional sled. So, if you forgot your sled, a boogie board would probably work.
However, sledding down the dunes was more difficult than they expected. Their first couple of tries were a flop….literally. But after a little trial and error, they were pros in no time.
My husband was as excited about sand sledding as the kids were! He helped them figure out that the steepest dunes were best and he gave them big pushes to get them started.
We were in Nags Head during March and it was EXTREMELY windy. The sleds were easily tossed around by the wind and ended up hitting the kids as they tried to hang on to them. They also blew away and had to be chased down.
Despite the struggles, the girls LOVED sand-sledding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park! It was their favorite part of our whole trip!
(Walking back up the hill was the most exhausting part!)
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I was afraid that sand sledding might not work out, so I brought kites along, just in case! Since it was so windy at Jockey’s Ridge, getting the kites in the air was no problem.
However, the extreme wind was a double-edged sword. While the kites took to the sky quickly, they also swooped around at lightning speed and did dive-bombs from the clouds.
Several times, we had to run for cover from the kamikaze kites. Covering our heads with our hands, we hoped that we weren’t going to be nailed in the head by a rogue kite.
Needless to say, our visit to Jockey’s Ridge State Park was a day that we’ll never forget!
My only regret is that we didn’t take the time to hike one of the trails or see the sound side of the park.
We were glad to finally mark this item off of our Fort Liberty and North Carolina Bucket List. If you’re ever in the Outer Banks, we suggest that you add Jockey’s Ridge State Park to your list too.
You won’t regret it!