- The National Forests of North Carolina include four national forests covering 1.2 million acres, from the mountains to the sea. The Croatan is located along the coast.
The Croatan's 160,000 acres have coastal forests, saltwater estuaries, bogs and raised swamps, called pocosins. Bounded on three sides by tidal rivers and Bogue Sound, the forest is defined by water. The Forest borders the White Oak, Neuse and Trent River, and to the south lie the Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Blackwater creeks originate deep in the forest. All this water provides a variety of fishing and canoeing, as well as a diversity of wildlife - from deer, black bears and turkeys to wading birds, ospreys and alligators. The Croatan's estuary and swamp areas offer visitors a unique view of a national forest. Insectivorous plants, such as the Venus flytrap and crustaceans, such as crab and shrimp, relish the Croatan's environment.
A swimming beach is located at the Neuse River just south of Fishers Landing. The Neusiok Trail travels 22 miles through the east side of the Croatan National Forest. It goes from a cypress-lined, sandy beach on the Neuse River, south through bottomland hardwoods and thick pocosin, to a beautiful estuary of the Newport River.
Recreation - The Croatan offers numerous recreation opportunities including camping, fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming, as well as simply enjoying nature. There are six designated camping areas on the Forest; three are primitive sites, with very limited facilities.
Climate - This region of North Carolina experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The area offers a great warm escape for outdoor recreation during the cold northern months. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.
The Croatan National Forest lies along the Atlantic coast of North Carolina, roughly between Morehead City, Cedar Point and New Bern. The Forest office is located in New Bern.