Croatan Forest

Brought to you as a public service by Realtor Steve Tyson

New Bern NC Homes for sale

New Bern's Hidden Jewel

The Croatan National Forest is one of the gems of Eastern North Carolina. This expansive forest of 161,000 acres remains somewhat undiscovered even to many of the native Eastern North Carolinian's.

On July 26,1936, President Roosevelt set aside lands which would be called Croatan Forest. The boundries of the land were proclaimed, however the purchase the propertey was interupted by World War Two. Additionally, Cherry Point Marine Air Station was determined to be important to the national defense and it was located on Croatan Forest land.

 Croatan Forest ponds are a haven for water fowl

The large variety of landscape in Croatan provide a protected and mostly undisturbed habitat for quite a few different species of animals. You will find white tail deer, black bear, turkey, squirrel, rabbits, raccoon, muskrat, and mink and many species of snakes.

Croatan Forest

Hunting and fishing

Hunting and fishing are allowed under N.C. state regulations. Call the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission(919-662-4381) for information on licenses and regulations.

Strange Plants

Croatan is New Bern's largest forest

The Venus flytrap (Dionaea Musipula) thrive in the Croatan Forest. This species of meat eating plants are found only in the eastern coastal plains of North and South Carolina. The Venus Flytrap attracts insects to it's open hinged leaves and then zap, in one tenth of a second it snaps shut and starts secreting digestive juices. A horrible way to go no doubt. In addition to the Venus Flytrap you will find other carnivorous plant including Sundew, Butterwort, and Pitcher plants.

Large Birds

The croatan is 5 miles from New Bern

The many creeks, bays, marshes and swamps provide an excellent array of habitats for a variety of bird life including Bald Eagles, Osprey, Herring, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers.


Canoeing in the Croatan Forest

The Croatan with it large lakes and untamed creeks, offers many opportunities for those that like to transverse by canoe or kayak. Look for occasional alligator, wading birds, ducks, and many other species of animals while quietly taking in the beautiful landscape. For larger bodies of water try the Neuse, White Oak, or Newport Rivers.


For those looking to bond a little with nature try hiking along one of the three trails that carve through the forest and over the creeks.

Island Creek Forest Walk

There are several trails that parallel Island Creek and takes you through a hardwood forest that have some of the largest hardwoods you will find in Eastern North Carolina. Island Creek is particularly beautiful in the fall and spring as you get to see the changing colors.

Neusiok Trail

The longest of the trails the Neusiok is 26 miles in length and passes through pine and hardwood forest, pocosins, and along the Neuse River. There are no developed camping facilities but primitive camping is permitted.

Cedar Point Tideland Trail

Located in the Cedar Point recreation area which offers camping, picnicking, boat ramp, fishing pier, and canoeing, this trail provides excellent opportunities to view wildlife and explore a salt marsh.