A wonderful asset to Roanoke Island is a paved, 7-mile multi-use pedestrian path that runs the entire length of the northern part of the island alongside U.S. Highway 64/264. It’s perfect for bicycling, walking, jogging, in-line skating, baby strolling and dog walking. On all but the nastiest days, the path is filled with a blend of Roanoke Island residents and visitors greeting one another. The path winds all the way to the north end of the island, canopied by shady trees along much of the route. At the north end, the path ends at a little beach on the Croatan Sound. There are a few picnic tables, a sandy beach, a pond and a National Park Service interpretive exhibit about the Freedmen’s Colony.
About midway along the path, you come to an entrance to Roanoke Gardens on Mother Vineyard Road. This neighborhood, known as Mother Vineyard, provides a delightful detour from the main path. In this neighborhood grows the largest scuppernong grapevine on the island, the mother of all vineyards, said to date to the 1500s. If you turn east onto Mother Vineyard Road, you’ll do a nice loop through this beautiful and serene section, getting a peek at some local homes, well-manicured yards and the vineyard, and also catching views of Roanoke Sound, Nags Head and Jockey’s Ridge along the back stretch. The full loop will bring you around to Scuppernong Road, which leads back to the bike path.
If you’re headed to Roanoke Island just to use the bike path, you can park your car at Roanoke Island Festival Park or in downtown Manteo. Downtown Manteo’s quiet residential streets are also perfect for running, walking and biking.