Canadian Hole delights kids, wind surfers on OBX

Posted July 23, 2010 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated July 24, 2010 7:59 a.m. EDT

— On the narrowest stretch of the Outer Banks lies a peaceful, sound-side nook where, just across the highway, the Atlantic Ocean roars.

The National Park Service gave the spot its official name of the Haulover Day Use Area. Locals call it Canadian Hole.

Visitor Megan Hilliard calls it "paradise."

"I'm almost 30, and I think I've been coming down here since I was 15," she said.

Hilliard was accompanied by her grandmother, mother, sister and daughter to Canadian Hole, which is off N.C. Highway 12, just north of Buxton in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

"To me, it's just peaceful," she said. "Look around, we're the only ones here. It's great."

Hilliard said the waters of the Pamlico Sound are good for her 2½-year-old daughter. "I don't have to worry about her being swept up in waves," she said.

Not every day at Canadian Hole is so peaceful.

In the spring and fall, the winds kick up, and Canadian Hole becomes home to some of the world's best kite-surfing.

Hilliard's mother, Katie Bernstein, said she prefers it when the waters spread out in a flat sheen.

"It almost looks like infinity. It looks like it just goes on and on," Bernstein said.