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With summer long past and and winter setting in, the beaches along the Outer Banks have gone into their yearly hibernation. Summer vacationers have gone home, and you would be hard pressed to find any sunbathers laying out or children splashing in the surf. But don’t let that fool you. Even with the quietness of the beach, the Outer Banks are still a great area for winter recreation. With biking and jogging paths, horseback riding, hiking, birdwatching and countless other activities, the Outer Banks have a lot to offer year-round. In fact, many of these nonbeach activities are at their best in the much quieter and calmer off-season period.

Regardless of what time of year you head to the Outer Banks, recreational safety should always be a consideration. In summer, this generally means beach and water safety. But as visitors turn to a different set of activities, it’s a good time to think about safety as it relates to those other activities.

There are hundreds of miles of bike routes along the Outer Banks. If you head out for a winter day along the beach, make sure you know the laws for bicyclists along the beach roads and paths, and also be sure to put into practice basic bike safety. Some of these same safety tips apply to those who might want to take advantage of skate parks within the Outer Banks area.

Up and down the Outer Banks there are numerous wildlife and ecological preserves and parks with countless hiking options. Before hitting the trail, though, make sure that you are equipped for a day out in nature with plenty of food and water and are aware of the park or refuge rules for the trails you will be using. The North Carolina State Parks Department offers some basic hiking safety advice. It’s also a good idea to remember that hunting is permitted ins ome areas during certain times of the year. This requires both hikers and hunters to take extra precautionary measures. Many of the parks and preserves also offer boating opportunities to check out the unique wildlife and plants that help make the Outer Banks so special.

Thinking beyond the beach, the Outer Banks really is a rich area for outdoor recreation. This fall and winter take advantage of it, but do so safely.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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