Both children and adults enjoy climbing and playing on the park's huge pile of sand. Some hike the dune for the spectacular views of coastal Carolina, others for the experience of the desert-like environment. When hiking the ridge, look for fulgurites, glass tubes formed when lightning hits the sand. (Please don't remove the fulgurites from the park.)
Shoes are a must to protect tender feet from hot sand and sandspurs - sand temperatures may be as much as 30 degrees higher than air temperatures. Be aware of the hang-gliding landing and launching zones; refer to the park map for the location of these areas. The ridge area closes 15 minutes before the park closes.
The one-mile loop trail includes opportunity to explore the diversity of our coastal habitats. A section of the trail travels through the dense maritime shrub thicket. The western section of the loop traces along the shoreline of Roanoke Sound. Along the way there are views of the higher dunes to the north. Parking is available at the entrance located on Soundside Road. Beginning at the visitor center located on Carolista Drive is an option to extend the venture beyond one mile.
The 360-foot boardwalk offers access to the dunes from the main parking lot. Interpretive signs are included along the route with information on local flora and fauna. At the boardwalk's end, benches are available with a view of one of the sand dunes.
Tracks in the Sand Trail is a pathway to view the Roanoke Sound with a short loop through the shrub thicket. The trail is a TRACK Trail and part of the larger Kids in Parks adventures. Brochures for the trail are available at the trailhead or inside the visitor center. Most of the path is full sun through shifting sands with directional arrows posted to mark the path. At the shoreline, there is is an area of restored marsh where nesting ospreys visit during the summer months.