Buxton is the highest point on Hatteras Island and is home to the tallest lighthouse in the nation, this being the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The lighthouse was recently moved inland a small distance due to threatening erosion. Here you can find a small museum and visitor center where you can learn more about the lighthouse and see it up close. A surfing championship is held each year near the lighthouse.
Known many years ago as "The Cape", Buxton got its present day name through the US Postal Service in honor of Ralph P. Buxton, a judge.
Buxton has several unique claims to fame, among these it houses the largest maritime forest on the North Carolina coast and it is also home to the origination of the worlds first wireless message transmission. Reginald Fessenden sent this message in 1902 from Buxton to Roanoke Island.
Located on the widest part of Hatteras Island, Buxton lays claim to a densely maritime forest known as Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve. Three miles wide and fifty feet high, his is the largest area of maritime forest still standing on the Carolina coast. The dunes are covered with pine and live oak scattered with maritime swamp forest and unique marsh wetlands.
On the ocean side of the forest are shrub thickets with live oak and cedar, however as you go inland towards the sound side there is a maritime evergreen forest. Between the two are shallow areas with freshwater marshes called sedges. Growing here are cattails, wild rice, sawgrass and spike rushes. Plants which can tolerate the waterlogged marshes like royal fern, cinnamon fern, lizard's tail and water dock also abound.
Further from the salt water of the ocean grow sea ox-eye and salt meadow cordgrass. Serving as a home for over three hundred and sixty migratory birds in the fall, Buxton Woods lays claim to bald eagles and peregrine falcons. Box turtles, green anoles, and southern dusky salamanders live in this habitat. Two species of rare butterflies, the northern hairstreeak and giant swallowtail as well as the messalina underwind moth are also found in the area.
See this area for yourself and take the Buxton Woods nature trail. Beginning at Cape Point Campground, this walk leads through maritime forest, across dunes, and into freshwater marshes for almost a mile.
Come stay with us here at Outer Beaches Realty and let us show you from a unique perspective, the lovely North Carolina Outer Banks.