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In the woods · On the farm · By the water
Farms and land in Hyde County offer uniquely diverse opportunities for investors lured to an area that could easily be nicknamed the “Road Less Travelled.” Situated in the Coastal Plain, only 613 square miles is actually Hyde County land, which overall encompasses 1,424 square miles. The remaining 811 square miles is water that borders the mainland portion of the county and Ocracoke Village on the south end of Ocracoke Island, which is a barrier island. Sparsely populated, there are about 5,200 residents combined from the mainland and the island. The mainland has 125,000 acres in farmland. Seventy-five percent of the acreage is used for crops, and 10% is woodlands. Many farms, particularly on or near Lake Mattamuskeet, create impoundments for waterfowl hunting, which draws thousands of hunters each year. Bear, deer and turkey hunting are the basis for a growing guide service industry. In addition to agriculture, commercial fishing and seafood processing play an important role in the local mainland economy. Included in the county’s top private employers are Rose Acre Farms, Ocracoke Island Realty and Mattamuskeet Seafood Manufacturing. Sports fishing is a popular pastime, and the availability of fresh, brackish and Atlantic Ocean saltwater provides a wide assortment of catches ranging from crappies to tuna. Ocracoke village is separated from the mainland by a more than two-hour ferry ride. The small community sits on the south end of the island, which is mostly part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. A popular tourist destination, visitors enjoy the miles of windswept beaches, local historic attractions such as the Ocracoke Lighthouse and fishing in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pamlico Sound. Hyde County Schools provide K-12 public education.