The Roanoke Island Trails Program (RITP), spearheaded by a motivated bunch of community volunteers and led by AmeriCorps member Erin Rexin, recently installed 12 trail markers to assist with wayfinding on the Collins Trail in Skyco, North Carolina. The team installed the markers between the Roanoke Island Welcome Center and Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) on April 12 and has plans to add 10 more markers between the Welcome Center and Dare County Center later this month. The effort was funded by Dare County with the goal of increasing awareness, accessibility, and use of Collins Trail by Roanoke Island residents and visitors. The Americorps Roanoke Island Trails Lead position is sponsored by the Coastal Studies Institute. The next RITP volunteer meeting will be held at CSI on Thursday, May 30 from 6:00-7:30 PM and the public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Beginning at Outer Banks Welcome Center on Roanoke Island, the Collins Trail has two parts: a short fitness trail alongside the Dare Center Building, and a 2-mile section that weaves through maritime forests and quiet, residential neighborhoods along the Croatan Sound to the Coastal Studies Institute on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. Trail users have the chance to observe a coastal woodland habitat, wide open expanses of marsh, and all kinds of wildlife along its winding path. The trail is named in tribute to Marshall and Gussie Collins, a Roanoke Island couple remembered for their compassion and service to the community, and whose family once farmed the land the Government Center now sits on.
In addition to this recent accomplishment, the RITP has also created an iNaturalist page to help Collins Trail user interact with each other and the area’s wildlife. The site provides a platform for visitors to record and upload their wildlife siting to share and discuss with fellow naturalists. The list is constantly updating, and easy to use for amateur and seasoned naturalists, alike.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Roanoke Island Trails Program, please attend the upcoming meeting or contact Erin by calling (252)475-5409 or emailing RoanokeIslandTrails@gmail.com.
Click here to check out iNaturalist wildlife siting already recorded along the Collins Trail and to upload your own.