Run, Walk or Bike Your Way Through Emerald Isle


Run Walk or Bike Emerald Isle NC


There are plenty of ways to see the beautiful sights in Emerald Isle. Hopefully, it's not just a drive-by in your car as you arrive at your Emerald Isle vacation rental. The island and the town itself deserve more attention than that!


This 13-mile stretch of the most westernmost portion of Bogue Banks, a barrier island paradise, is well worth exploring. Emerald Island offers abundant coastal scenery in a variety of forms from sand and sea to lush greenery here in the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Here are our favorite ways to see the town and its surroundings by land. Maybe we'll do a follow-up to this post with the best ways to see Emerald Isle by sea and by air, too? Stay tuned!

Run It

Running in Emerald Isle NC

A run on the beach is like nothing else! Crashing waves, salty sea air and coastal breezes surround you as your feet pound the sand. You can't beat the views, that's for sure. Whether you run on our beautiful stretch of beach, on the streets in town, or on our local hiking trails, you're sure to find the scenery to be captivating. Your options are limitless when it comes to running on our island; it's really a matter of preference.


If you'd like to see some local favorite running routes on Emerald Isle, follow the link. It includes a map for each route, ascent and descent rates, estimated time, calories burned and pace. It's created by those who run the island, so you'll get insider information on the best places to run. You can even add your own to the site, if you have a favorite Emerald Isle running route that's not already listed. It's a great resource!



If you're more of a trail runner, Emerald Isle and the surrounding Crystal Coast area offer some amazing options. Check out our previous Sun-Surf Realty blog post on The 8 Best Hiking Trails on the Crystal Coast to learn more about them.



For the more competitive runners, the Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K is right up your alley. It happens each April and offers flat and fast courses in the perfect setting while benefiting two great causes. More than 1500 runners registered last year, so it keeps getting bigger and better every time. Enjoy the island beauty as you achieve your running goals on an early spring morning in Emerald Isle at the race. The 2016 Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K happens Saturday, April 9 with proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Emerald Isle Bike Path. Click here to learn more about the Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K and how to register.

Walk It

Walking in Emerald Isle NC

Walking through Emerald Isle is also a wonderful way to see the town, spend time on the beach, and enjoy the breathtaking coastal sunrises and sunsets. Again, your walking options are limitless here. The above-mentioned Crystal Coast hiking trails are also great places to walk, as well as run or bike. You can check out the local favorite walking routes in Emerald Isle or create your own. Step out of your Emerald Isle vacation rental and start walking to see where you end up! The next day, choose the opposite direction and have another new adventure.

The Emerald Isle Community Center offers a Spring Walking Club every Friday morning at 9a.m. from April 1 through May 20. Meet up with local friends and neighbors in Emerald Isle for a sociable and healthy walk. The route is different each and every week and covers about 2-3 miles, beginning and ending at the Emerald Isle Community Center. It's free and open to everyone of every age. (Anyone under age 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guarding, though.) What a great way to start the day! No excuses!

Bike It

Biking in Emerald Isle NC

Cycling along the Crystal Coast is an awesome way to see the natural beauty while getting some good old-fashioned fresh air and exercise. The Emerald Path is approximately 11 miles of biking bliss that runs from the Indian Beach town limits all the way to The Point at Bogue Inlet. The path winds through grassy areas along Coast Guard Road to Loon Drive, snakes through wooded areas from Loon Drive to the Welcome Center, meanders through the downtown district and passes the Municipal Complex at Black Skimmer Drive and ends at the eastern town limits. The bike path provides an alternative means of transportation to key destinations in Emerald Isle, as well as providing an additional recreational opportunity in town. It's not restricted to only bikes but also open to joggers, walkers and in-line skaters. There aren't any motorized vehicles allowed on the path, so it's perfect for all of the above-mentioned.



Read everything you need to know about the Emerald Isle Bike Path here and be sure to give it a try next time you're in town. It even made our top 10 list of reasons why Emerald Isle is the perfect family-friendly spring break spot. Peddle it for yourself!


Think about joining in on the annual Bike the Banks event in Emerald Isle held each May. The event features three rides of varying length, all beginning at the Emerald Isle Community Center. Cyclists can choose from the 10-mile Fun Run along the bicycle and pedestrian path in Emerald Isle; the Fort Macon 50-miler a roundtrip ride to Fort Macon along Highway 58; or the Crystal Coast Century, a 100-mile roundtrip to Cape Lookout. You can register for the 2016 Bike the Banks event here, which is slated for Saturday, May 7.


As you can see, whether you run it, walk it, or bike itEmerald Isle gives you plenty of exciting and healthful opportunities to see the town, its beaches and the surrounding areas. Take full advantage next time you're here!


What's your favorite way to see the sights in Emerald Isle?