Pinecliff Recreation Area, Croatan Forest: Neusiok Trail

The Pincliff Recreation area is located on the Neuse river, near the Cherry Branch ferry terminal. Part of the Croatan National Forest, it is the location of the northern most trail-head of the Neusiok Trail. It is, in my personal opinion, the prettyest section of the trail. Here the trail parallels the river for about 1.8 miles before cutting into the forest towards it’s Newport River terminous, 21 miles away. From the perspective of someone that enjoys avian and wildlife photography it is not the most productive location in the area, but there are almost always a few opportunities to take a shot. Common sightings include Red Headed woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Cardinals and other small birds. The occasional Belted Kingfisher and various shore birds can also be seen. Early spring through early fall Osprey are usually present. On one occassion I did watch a Bald Eagle fly over, though I haven’t seen it since and have no idea if it has a home in the area. Photographers into shoot landscapes or taking macro images will find this a very productive area. It’s also a great hike for nature enthusiasts.

A Red Headed Woodpecker along the Neuse river. Swamps and cypress trees area commong along this stretch of the Neusiok trail.

A squirrel with a nut enjoys a pretty fall day along the Neusiok trail near the Pinecliff Recreation area. Mushrooms, wildflowers and other interesting objects make interesting subjects for macro photographers.

A shorebird explores the edge of the Neuse river.

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