MST in a Day

Segment 18

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40th Anniversary MST In A Day

Sign up to Hike Segment 18!

The Outer Banks — Cedar Island Ferry to Jockey’s Ridge State Park

About the Segment

From the secluded beaches of Ocracoke Island to the tourist bustle of Nags Head, this 81-mile segment captures the many aspects of North Carolina’s easternmost parts. These barrier islands, or “banks,” are rich with history, wildlife, and scenery. They are also the site of some of the most extreme weather in the country. Situated as it is—sticking far out into the ocean, where two major ocean currents collide—the region has earned its nickname, “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

The western end of this segment is at the Cedar Island ferry terminal in Carteret County and the eastern end is at the highest point on the dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Dare County. In between, it follows the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the ponds of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Note that because of safety concerns, the MST in a Day event will not cross the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge connecting Hatteras and Bodie Islands.

For more information, see the Segment 18 page and the trail guide for this segment. Learn more about MST in a Day.

How to Register

To learn more about the options, look over the map and leg descriptions below.

Support MST in a Day

MST in a Day ShirtParticipation in MST in a Day is free, and open to everyone.

We also invite you to make a gift to support our work to build, protect and promote the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. No gift is too large or too small.

Building and maintaining trail, raising awareness and support, helping hikers find information, and acquiring new trail corridor: this is the critical and on-going mission of Friends, and it is people like you who help us reach that goal.

Gifts above $35 will entitle you to a 1-year membership in Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. (If you are already a member, you can give a gift membership to someone else.)

Everyone who donates $100 or more by August 15th will receive the official MST in a Day shirt as a thank you for your gift. Shirts will be mailed in advance of the event in August.

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Donation Total: $55

You’ll be registering through Click the “Sign Up Now” button to join the MST Hikers – Segment 18 group. (If you’re not already a member of Meetup, you’ll be prompted to join—a free, quick process.) Once you’re a member of the group, find the leg or legs you want to hike, review the details to confirm, and click the RSVP button. If that leg is already full, please consider hiking another nearby leg.

Note that there may be too many legs to fit on one Meetup screen, so you may need to go to the next page to find the legs you’re interested in.

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If you have any questions, please contact Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at, or your Segment Leader, Cat Peele, through the message function on Meetup.

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Segment Legs

Note that although we describe the legs from west to east, you are free to hike them in either direction.

LegDescriptionLengthEastbound Trail Guide MilesPaved or UnpavedDifficultyWestern EndpointEastern EndpointNotes
1Cedar Island Ferry dock at Ocracoke Island to NPS Ocracoke Campground4.5 miles0.0-4.5Paved and unpavedEasyN35.11678, W75.98529N35.12536, W75.92218
2NPS Ocracoke Campground to Pony Pens Parking3.2 miles4.5-7.7Paved and unpavedEasyN35.12536, W75.92218N35.14782, W75.87129
3Pony Pens Parking to Ocracoke Ferry Dock6.6 miles7.7-14.3Paved and unpavedEasyN35.14782, W75.87129N35.18952, W75.77962Note there is a ferry between Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands that is not included in these legs.
4Hatteras Ferry Terminal to Cape Hatteras Nat'l Seashore Parking Area on NC 124.0 miles14.3-18.3Paved and unpavedEasyN35.20797, W75.70266N35.22479, W75.64355Note there is a ferry between Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands that is not included in these legs.
5Cape Hatteras Nat'l Seashore Parking Area on NC 12 to Frisco Campground2.7 miles18.3-21.0UnpavedEasyN35.22479, W75.64355N35.23672, W75.60260
6Frisco Campground to Parking lot near British Cemetery4.6 miles21.0-25.6Paved and unpavedEasyN35.23672, W75.60260N35.24802, W75.53264
7Parking lot near British Cemetery to Haulover Day Use Area parking4.1 miles25.6-29.7Paved and unpavedEasyN35.24802, W75.53264N35.29904, W75.51362
8Haulover Day Use Area parking to Avon Pier3.5 miles29.7-33.2UnpavedEasyN35.29904, W75.51362N35.34715, W75.50273
9Avon Pier to ORV Ramp #324.2 miles33.2-37.4UnpavedEasyN35.34715, W75.50273N35.40641, W75.48834
10ORV Ramp #32 to ORV Ramp #274.4 miles37.4-41.8UnpavedEasyN35.40641, W75.48834N35.46960, W75.48323
11ORV Ramp #27 to ORV Ramp #234.3 miles41.8-46.1UnpavedEasyN35.46960, W75.48323N35.53193, W75.47302
12ORV Ramp #23 to Rodanthe Beach Access4.4 miles46.1-50.5UnpavedEasyN35.53193, W75.47302N35.59430, W75.46429
13Rodanthe Beach Access to New Inlet Bridge area6.2 miles50.5-56.7UnpavedEasyN35.59430, W75.46429N35.68012, W75.48198
14New Inlet Bridge area to Pea Island Visitor Center2.6 miles56.7-59.3UnpavedEasyN35.68012, W75.48198N35.71676, W75.49271
15Pea Island Visitor Center to North end of North Pond Trail2.6 miles59.3-61.9UnpavedEasyN35.71676, W75.49271N35.73731, W75.50238
16North end of North Pond Trail to Small parking lot at foot of Oregon Inlet Bridge (east side of Hwy. 12)2.9 miles61.9-64.8UnpavedEasyN35.73731, W75.50238N35.76689, W75.52508Note that due to safety concerns, MST in a Day will omit the Oregon Inlet Bridge.
17ORV Ramp #4 to Coquina Beach parking area2.9 miles67.3-70.2UnpavedEasyN35.79571, W75.54637N35.82931, W75.55806
18Coquina Beach parking area to Outer Banks Fishing Pier3.9 miles70.2-74.1UnpavedEasyN35.82931, W75.55806N35.88507, W75.58305
19Outer Banks Fishing Pier to Jennette's Pier1.9 miles74.1-76.0UnpavedEasyN35.88507, W75.58305N35.90950, W75.59701
20Jennette's Pier to Jockey's Ridge State Park5.5 miles76.0-81.5Paved and unpavedEasyN35.90950, W75.59701N35.95908, W75.63306
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