Duck Trail Improvements – Ocean Crest

The Duck Trail, beloved by cyclists and pedestrians alike, is getting an upgrade. A 550-foot stretch adjoining the Ocean Crest neighborhood will be relocated and widened from 4 feet to 8 feet, providing a safer and ADA-compliant path for all. This project aligns with Duck’s vision for an accessible and connected community, and is anticipated to be completed by March 2024. Read below for more information.

The project will involve removal of an existing four-foot (4’) wide sidewalk and construction of approximately 550 feet of eight-foot (8’) wide concrete bicycle/pedestrian pathway located along the east side of Duck Road (N.C. Highway 12) adjoining the Oceancrest neighborhood.  Associated improvements include construction of a retaining wall, grading a shallow infiltration basin to assist with stormwater management, and minor revisions to the existing landscaping at the entrance to the Oceancrest neighborhood.  

Adjoining the Oceancrest neighborhood, the multi-use path would be relocated and improved along the east side of Duck Road (N.C. Highway 12) from the end of the existing asphalt shared use path adjacent to 107 Yolanda Terrace extending northward to the existing asphalt shared use path at 100 E. Charles Jenkins Lane, a distance of approximately 550 feet.  A vast majority of the multi-use path can be accommodated within the existing Highway 12 right-of-way. The Town has obtained easements from several individual property owners where necessary to accommodate construction and minor encroachments on private properties.

Every day during the summer tourist season, the Town of Duck hosts tens of thousands of weekly visitors, day-trippers, business workers, and residents.  Many of these travelers from the southern portion of the Town and the neighboring Town of Southern Shores journey to Duck Village along the Duck Trail, a paved shared use path that runs along the east side of Duck Road (N.C. Highway 12).  The last full year of data (2021) counted 254,897 bicycle and pedestrian trips from these southern areas to and from Duck Village.  Over the past three years, weekly counts range from 10,500 to 14,000 bicycle and pedestrian trips during the peak summer tourist season.  Without the Duck Trail, these trips alongside a heavily trafficked roadway would be unsafe and uncomfortable.  
The vast majority of the Duck Trail is eight feet (8’) in width as it travels six miles through the Town of Duck.  This one section constructed by the Oceancrest neighborhood when it developed decades ago (prior to the Town’s incorporation) consists of a four-foot (4’) wide concrete sidewalk that winds up a small hill.  Due to the narrowing of the trail, its location on top of the hill, and the manner in which it curves, this stretch of the Duck Trail has seen several bicycle incidents resulting in injury and generated many complaints over the years.  In addition, due to its relatively steep incline, this section of the Duck Trail does not comply with ADA accessibility standards.  In addition, the planned improvements are consistent with the recommendations of the Town of Duck Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, adopted by the Town of Duck and the N.C. Department of Transportation in 2014.  The planned bicycle/pedestrian improvements are also consistent with the Town of Duck’s adopted 2032 Vision. 
The Town of Duck has contracted with Hatchell Concrete to construct the proposed improvements.  The Town contracted with local engineer Joe Anlauf to design the project, conduct the bid process, and oversee the construction of the Duck Trail improvements.  The Town has coordinated closely with the Oceancrest Property Owners Association to be sure that the project meets the needs and expectations of the community.  Several adjoining property owners have granted easements to accommodate the project.
A contract for construction was awarded to Hatchell Concrete at the Duck Town Council meeting on December 6, 2023. Construction began on January 16, 2024. The project is anticipated that construction will be completed by March 2024.
Questions about the Duck Trail improvements adjoining the Oceancrest neighborhood can be directed to Community Development Director Joe Heard at , Senior Planner Sandy Cross at, and/or Community Planner Jim Gould at