There are currently three shelters along the Neusiok Trail
While there has been discussions about adding one or two more shelters,
there are no plans do so at this time.
It does not cost anything to stay at the shelters. You can not reserve a
a shelter so it's a first come, first serve deal. I do not sleep in the shelters.
If I am staying near a shelter I will be camping in my hammock and storing my pack
inside the shelter.
There are no bear cables. While there are bears in the area, I have yet to see
one. I have never heard of anyone having a problem with their food being taken.
If it makes you feel better then hang your food bag away from the shelter.
The shelters are similar to the Appalachian Trail shelters, three sides, roof and
open front and large enough for about three adults. The official brochure says the
shelters will hold five people. Five people could fit but it would a very tight squeeze
especially when you consider the gear each will be carrying. The floor space
inside the shelters is way to small to set up a tent inside the shelter or hang
a hammock (hikers along the Appalachian Trail have been known to set up tents and
or hang hammocks inside the AT shelters).
Dogwood Camp shelter is the only shelter that is very hard to see from the trail
as it is located about 100 feet from the trail and the view is blocked by brush. If you
do not know it is there, you will miss it.
It is 0.75 miles south of Hwy 101 and off to the Right if you are heading south.
Look for a small sign saying "Hwy 101 .75 miles". There will be a side trail on
the other side of the trail from the sign leading to the shelter. This side trail
is about 100 feet.
All the shelters face south
The shelters are on a raised wood floor. The design should protect you from all
but the most severe rain storms.
Each shelter has its own custom hand painted cedar plank inside that has the
name of the shelter
Each shelter has a hand operated water pump along with instructions on how to
operate the pumps posted inside the shelters. I recommend that to be on the safe
side you should bring your own water in case the pumps are not working. You will also
find some water jugs at the shelters that you can use to prime the water pumps
if they are dry. Please refill the jugs for the next hiker. While the water from
the pump is not tested and not guaranteed safe to drink; I have been drinking the
water from the pumps as is and do not treat it. Due to the high iron content the
water will look brown after a couple of minutes.
Each shelter has a fire ring. Blackjack Shelter has very little firewood close
by so plan on hiking a couple of minutes to find wood. Please to not cut down any
of the pine trees close to the shelter. I use them to hang my hammock from when camping.
Also, green pine does not make good fire wood due to all the moisture.
There are not any picnic tables or restrooms at the shelters. Each shelter has a
shovel that can be used for digging cat holes. If you have to go, please do so
several hundred feet away from the shelter and bury your waste.
Each shelter has a log book so you can leave your comments and read what other
hikers have written.
There are no trash cans at the shelters so practice Leave No Trace and pack
out your trash.
Plenty of room to spread a tent or hang a hammock close to the shelters or along
much of the trail. You can camp anywhere along the trail you want although the
underbrush and bogs will limit the areas you can actually camp at. This trail is
well suited for hammock campers. I like to hang my hammock along the Neuse River
for the views.
Each shelter also has a broom. Please sweep out the shelter before you leave.
Please, do not write your name ect on the shelter wall. Write and show off
your art work in the log book.
Dinner time at Dogwood shelter with a group of hikers from Virgina I spent the night with