The Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area is an expansive 265-acre nature preserve located on Bogue Banks, in the small beach community of Pine Knoll Shores, just minutes from Emerald Isle. This undeveloped natural area protects one of the last remaining maritime forests on the North Carolina coast.
The Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area surrounds the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores, one of the area’s most popular attractions. If you’re planning a visit to the aquarium, choose from one of two distinct trails that wind through the expansive area.
The preserve offers scenic views of the maritime forest and Bogue Sound. And visitors can see a variety of local wildlife including river otters, marsh rabbits, gray foxes, turtles and more. You can also enjoy bird watching along the trail, as the area provides feeding and nesting grounds for many species of birds such as egrets, ospreys, warblers and more.
Roosevelt Nature Trail
The Roosevelt Nature Trail is a longer and more rigorous trail that scales a high dune ridge and winds around dunes and marshes. Benches and wildlife viewing areas are stationed along the trail route for visitors to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty or to view the hundreds of birds that call these marshes home each year.
Trail Loop Length: Approx. 1.2 miles
Estimated Walking Time: One hour
Location: at the west end of the main NC Aquarium parking lot
Alice Hoffman Nature Trail
The Alice Hoffman Nature Trail is a shorter loop trail that is ideal for hikers of all skill levels and ages. The trail leads out to a viewing blind on East Pond and then loops around through the marsh.
Trail Loop Length: Approx. 0.7 miles
Estimated Walking Time: 45 minutes
Location: off the Marsh Boardwalk outside the Coastal Plains Gallery at the NC Aquarium