Neusiok Trail off Hwy 101 (gunner76?) - Croatan Forest - NC
Trying to hang one night in the Croatan National Forest on a bike ride to the coast. I was trying not to stray too far from my route and to get as close to the eastern edge of the forest as possible to increase the odds of my catching an earlier ferry to Ocracoke the next day. I looked at Flanners Beach, but thought I could give myself a little more breathing room the next day by going a bit further. Siddie Fields is also under consideration, but it adds about an hour of travel to my route.
Then I realized that I'm going to cross right over the Neusiok trail, which offers dispersed camping anywhere along it's length. I was thinking of just walking my bike a couple of yards down the trail to escape road noise and headlights and pitching my hammock for the night. I just wonder if anyone familiar with the area knows of any pitfalls with this plan? Like lack of camping options, proximity of houses (looks like there's a scrap yard right near there?), or trail conditions that would prevent me from rolling my bike a few feet into the woods. I think gunner76 frequents that area and perhaps some other forum members.
Flanners Beach is not hammock friendly, at least I could spot any place to hang there last year when I was scouting out the area.
Check out my web site at www.neusioktrail.org and the forum for more information on the trail.
There are 3 shelters with water pumps along the trail. 2 of them are .75 miles from the road, one of them is about 2.2 miles from the road.
The southeren most shelter, Blackjack shelter ( .75 mile from the road) would be easy to reach with anything other than Road/Tri bike. It has lots of pine trees suitable for hanging from and a water pump that was working this past Sunday. While I have never camped at the Blackjack Shelter I have set up my ENO DN for a nap/break when hiking this section of the trail.
The northern start point of the trail has numerous hanging place just 5-10 minute walk from the trail head. Down side is that there is no drinking water there.
Thanks for the info. I think it was your site that made me realize that I might be able to camp right off 101. And the warning about hammocks at Flanners is good, too, because that was my early bail out spot. I think I pass another spot a little earlier at Catfish Lake. Perhaps that will be my new early bail out spot. Although if I'm able to use your Kinston tip, it'll cut that day's mileage down enough that Neusiok shouldn't be a problem.
I wasn't too worried about water because I figured I could stop at Flanners Beach to refuel, make dinner, and maybe even get a shower before pushing on, but it's definitely good to know where water is on the trail. My thought was to camp just south of 101, closest to the Dogwood shelter, but I probably wouldn't camp that far in unless that's how far I have to go to escape the road and/or find trees. But, daylight permitting, it'd be nice to see a little more of the trail, so I may have to scout out that shelter on foot once I set up camp whether I need water or not.
Dogwood Camp is .75 miles South from Hwy 101. Has a water pump and has place to hang from. Have to look for sign on Trail saying your are .75 miles from Hwy 101, turn around and you will see a side trail and the shelter is a few hundred feet down trail. Usauly can not see this shelter from trail due to undergrowth
Have not scouted out Catfish Lake area but I do not think you will find any thing there as that is a very swampy area. Also Catfish Lake is semi close to Flanners Beach but is down a very very long dirt road
Good to know. My planned route has me biking down that road whether I stop at Catfish or not. I'm still considering coming in through New Bern instead. I'm guessing I'll have smoother road conditions that way, but I want to see as much of the Croatan as my limited time allows, so biking through the middle of it seems like a way to accomplish that. It will probably depend on how sore/tired I am by the time I get to a decision point.
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