Beginning where the paved road ends, the 4-Wheel Drive Area in the Northern Outer Banks of North Carolina is an eleven mile strip of beach from Mile Post 13 to Mile Post 24. Bordered in the north by Virginia, the east by the Atlantic Ocean, the south by Corolla, and the west by the Currituck Sound, this beautiful part of our barrier island has been voted one of the best beaches in the World. Don't miss seeing this unique area when you visit the Outer Banks.
The roads in the Outer Banks 4-Wheel drive area are hard-packed sand. If you do not have an adequate 4-wheel drive vehicle, you will not make it from the paved road to the hard-packed sand road near the surf. As you drive up the northern beach, you will pass many cars and trucks that are stuck, and waiting for a four-wheel drive tow truck. Local teenagers make a fortune in the Summer towing stuck vacationers out of the sand using firehoses for rope.
Hundreds of four-wheel drive vehicles drive these beaches and sand roads every day. The homes in the 4-wheel drive area range from mobile homes to palatial Oceanfront estates.
Most of the upscale rentals in the area feature all of the amenities today’s Outer Banks vacationers are seeking so a vacation in the Northern Outer Banks is far from roughing it. Swimming pools, entertainment systems, gourmet kitchens, high-speed Internet access and hot tubs are abundant in the over 300 homes in the area.
From spectacular sunrises to the most breathtaking and memorable sunsets you will ever witness, this beautiful, pristine area of the Outer Banks will provide a memorable vacation.
The 4-Wheel Drive permanent residents, otherwise known as “locals,” have kept the paved roads out of their communities for fear that they will bring more development.
In May 1988, an ordinance requiring permits to drive all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to Carova went into effect. There are no stores or restaurants of any kind, which keeps this beautiful area in a state of natural beauty.
If you do not have a four-wheel vehicle, you can still enjoy the northern Outer Banks. There are several businesses offering guided tours, rentals of four-wheel drive vehicles, and excursions for the whole family to view the wild mustangs and picnic on the gorgeous, peaceful beaches.
Swan Beach is the first area.
North Swan Beach the second you will come to and is also the location of the fire station.
The last community of Carova takes you to the Virginia border. The name Carova is a combination of the borders of Carolina and Virginia. Carova has been named as one of the best “undiscovered” beaches in America.
While this area is fairly remote, it is patrolled by county, state and federal officers. Frequent sightings of United States Coast Guard planes and helicopters are common.
Like all areas of the Outer Banks, the 4-Wheel Drive Area runs from the ocean to the sound. In addition to Soundfront and Oceanfront real estate, the 4-wheel drive area offers canalfront, wooded, and interior homes and land.
Utilities are electric and telephone, but water, septic and cable have to be installed by the owners.
The 4-Wheel Drive Area is also the home of the last of the Spanish mustangs that roam free in the area. The “Wild Horses of Corolla” are indeed wild and need to remain that way for their own survival. Please keep your distance from these beautiful creatures so they may continue to occupy their home.
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