Cardio and history at the Wright Brothers National Memorial
Have you ever been to the Wright Brothers Memorial? We visited the Outer Banks in North Carolina over the weekend, and being the history fanatics we are, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop there. The National Park and monument showcase the land where the first official flight took place.
Atop of Kill Devil Hill (a 90 foot sand dune) there is a 60 foot monument that honors the Wright brothers. In the area below the monument there is a sculpture of the 1903 aircraft, stones charting the first four flights, and the 1903 hangar and workshop reconstructed.
Getting to the top of Kill Devil Hill is where the cardio comes into play. There are paths leading up to the monument, however skateboards are prohibited and bicycles are only allowed on the roads, not the paths. This means you walk. I did have my Garmin Activity Tracker and there are around 2500 steps up to the monument from the parking lot. Round trip is about 5000 lung busting, calf crapping steps, but the view of the surrounding area from the top is worth it.
The monument was build in 1932 and though it looks solid, it’s actually hollow with black granite floors. The inside is closed to the public except on special occasions, but the combined height of the hill and the monument makes it the highest point on the Outer Banks. The inscription at the base says “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, conceived by genius, achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.” This inscription is my favorite part of the monument. “Dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.” How many people do you know have that kind of resolve?
Would I recommend the memorial? Absolutely. The entrance fee is $10 per adult, and there are various discounts (senior, military, child, etc.) just so you know. The entrance fee includes everything. Definitely bring sunscreen as there is absolutely no shade and come prepared to spend a lot of time outdoors. While there is a visitor center, it’s the only indoor area in the park. Also, if you have dogs that love spending time with you bring them with you because they are allowed!
When would I recommend visiting? Anytime really. We did in the summer months, and I would love to head back on December 17th. This is when there is a celebration every year for the first flight. However if you can’t make it that close to Christmas, any cooler day is good. I wouldn’t recommend in the middle of summer just because of walking in the heat, but if that’s the only time you can make it, pack water and sunscreen and go for it.