The sunsets are gorgeous from the top of the dunes. During the day the sand is very hot and not many people are there, but at dusk it gets very busy.There are trails you can walk on around the dunes or you can climb to the top and sit and watch the sunset. Lots of people fly kites there as there is always a wind off the ocean. They also offer Hang Gliding lessons. It was a favorite of the kids on our trip to the Outer Banks.
There are 3 different ecosystems in the park...
The Dunes -
The dunes consist of three peaks and are an example of a Medaño, shifting sand that lacks vegetation. No plants or animals make their home on the dune due to the harsh conditions here.
The area around the base of the dunes hosts a variety of grasses and small plants. One such plant is the American Beach Grass which anchors itself in the sand with help from its 40-foot long root system. The grasses create habitats for small animals and insects. Heavy rains sometimes create temporary pools (below) around the base of the dunes, providing wildlife with fresh water.
The amount of sand making up the 420 acres of Jockey's Ridge is equal to about 6,000,000 dump truck loads!
The Sand is mostly quartz rock which came from the mountains millions of years ago.
The dunes never blow away because Northeast and Southwest winds blow the sand back and forth.
The Maritime Thicket -
The maritime thicket of live oaks, persimmons, red cedar, wax myrtle, bayberry, sweet gum, red oaks, and pines grows best in areas protected by the large dune. The height of the dune provides protection from both wind and salt blown off the ocean. The effects of the wind and salt stunts the growth of trees, causing them to look like shrubs. Larger animals such as foxes, deer, and raccoon find protection in this environment.
The Roanoke Sound Estuarydescriptions taken from the website Jockey's Ridge State Park
The Roanoke Sound Estuary is a rich habitat for a variety of plant, animal and bird life. Cattails, sawgrass, giant cordgrass and black needlerush provide habitats for many waterfowl and serve as fish nurseries. The sound is also home to the Blue Crab, an important commercial fisheries industry in North Carolina.
|Grandpa and the kids playing around|
|My crew climbing up|
|playing in the sand|
|Tiny little frogs that where in the sand|
|Sunset a little too cloudy for a real nice one.|