Last Updated on November 30, 2022
Last Updated on November 30, 2022
After a short walk in the sandy woods, you’ll reach the serene sound front beach where the world’s most famous pirate—Blackbeard—was killed.
That incredible piece of history is just a part of the story, though, as you’ll find when following this short nature trail. You’ll find a mix of maritime forests, salt marsh, and wet grasslands.
Follow along as we explore one of our favorite Outer Banks hiking trails:
- Springer’s Point History
- Sam Jones
- Springer’s Point Nature Preserve
- How to Visit Today
- The Springer’s Point Hike
- More Things to Do on Ocracoke Island
Read More: The Best Things to Do in the Outer Banks
Springer’s Point History
Before European settlement, Native Americans came to the island to fish and to farm Yaupon, a wildflower that can be found at Springer’s Point. An old well near the beach predates any settlers and is believed to have been used by Native people and Blackbeard, too.
Ocracoke Island’s earliest settlement is believed to have started around Springer’s Point in the 1730s. Some interesting books tell the stories of those who’ve lived on Ocracoke for generations and you can purchase them from the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum (49 Water Plant Rd).
Before permanent settlers came, though, the land supposedly witnessed the final days and moments of Blackbeard’s life.
In November 1718, the infamous man who went by Edward Teach (and other names) spent a few days here. According to the most agreed-upon history (there was no 24-hour news then), the famous pirate spent his last days beach-partying with other pirates before Maynard’s forces attacked.
On November 22, Blackbeard and his ship Adventure were attacked in the nearby waters by British Naval Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Stories differ, but many agree that Blackbeard was beheaded after taking many bullet wounds.
His body was dumped in the sea while the head was placed on Maynard’s bowsprit and transported to Virginia. There, then-Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood had Blackbeard’s head placed on a pike along the Chesapeake River as a deterrent to any aspiring pirates.
The waters beyond the beach are known as Teach’s Hole as a result of this infamous battle.
After passing away in 1997, the former Jones is buried next to his horse Ikey D, near the beach at Springer’s Point.
Read More: 100+ Unique Things to Do in North Carolina
Springer’s Point Nature Preserve
The property opened to the public in 2006, and Coastal Land Trust has since expanded Springer’s Point Nature Preserve to more than 120 acres.
How to Visit Today
Address: 104 Loop Rd, Ocracoke, NC
To access Springer’s Point, you will have to walk or bike to the trailhead.
That’s because no parking is available for vehicles at the trailhead. This includes golf carts.
If you plan on driving, you can park about a half-mile away at the Ocracoke Assembly of God Church. Donations are encouraged.
The Ocracoke Lighthouse parking lot is closer but has a limit of 15 minutes.
The Springer’s Point Hike
From the trailhead, the 0.8-mile nature trail begins. Ancient live oaks, cedars, various plants, and more trees will surround you along the way.
The trail is naturally surfaced, and soft on the feet for the most part. There are a few forks along the way, but signs will typically indicate the official trail to follow.
We did encounter one fork that was without a sign and assumed to follow the path to the right and that kept us on the right track.
Another sign near the end will point to the beach. Before that you’ll notice a fenced area. That is where Sam Jones and his horse are buried and it’s also the site of the old well.
Just beyond the graves and the old well is the sound front beach, which is where Blackbeard partied. This is a great spot for a picnic and a nice day at the beach.
The waters on the sound side are always calmer than the ocean side, but remember there is no lifeguard here. Also, please leave no trace during your visit, so pack everything out that you brought to Springer’s Point.
The trail continues along the beach before turning back toward the trailhead.
You’ll quickly meet the last fork where the graves and old well and continue back-tracking. This trail can easily be completed in 30 minutes, but stops along the way are welcome, especially for all the gorgeous scenery that awaits.
While it’s a shorter path, it’s easily one of our favorite hikes in North Carolina.
Ready to Visit Springer’s Point?
Springer’s Point is where history and preservation meet and we hope you’re able to walk to the beach where Blackbeard spent his final days.
Have you ever visited this beautiful preserve? We’d love to hear about your experiences here. You can let us know in the comments section or by email.
Don’t forget to share your Springer’s Point adventures in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group.
Before you do, here are a few more things to do on Ocracoke Island.
More Things to Do on Ocracoke Island
Beyond Springer’s Point, there are even more ways to enjoy yourself on Ocracoke Island. You can relax on the beautiful beach, go fishing, drive out to the Pony Pen, and sample all the ice cream and food around the Village.
Keep an eye out for a comprehensive guide to the island, but in the meantime, here are some more things to do beyond Springer’s Point:
If you’re traveling from Hatteras and elsewhere on the Outer Banks, these travel guides will help you enjoy the lands north of Ocracoke Village.