The 825-acre Buxton Coastal Reserve, just south of the village of Buxton on Hatteras Island, is the largest stand of maritime forest remaining in North Carolina. Shrub thickets of live oak and red cedar mix with a maritime evergreen forest community. Low spots in Buxton Woods, or sedges, support a freshwater marsh environment where cattails and wild rice can be found.
In addition to supporting plant life, Buxton Woods is also a key habitat for wildlife. A wide variety of mammals, reptiles and amphibians inhabit the reserve. Its protected lands are an important stopover for many migrating birds. As many as 360 different species have been sighted within its borders including the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Two rare butterflies, the giant swallowtail and the northern hairstreak, have also been documented in Buxton Woods.
Access to the Buxton Woods Reserve is via Old Doctor's Road or Water Association Road, which are both off NC 12. Hikers can explore many trails, some of which connect Buxton Woods with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
For more info: nccoastalreserve.net or nature.org