Biking & Nature Trails
Wilmington and our Island Beaches offer diverse backdrops for tours and trails that range from scenic parks, gardens and lakes to serene oceanfront landscapes. Travel from the river to the sea by bicycle, roam Carolina Beach and Kure Beach on a self-guided bike tour, and jog past marshes, parks and nature as you round The Loop in Wrightsville Beach. No matter your fitness level, an outdoor experience is a perfect way to reconnect to nature on your next getaway. Find a bicycle rental outfitter and start your adventure.
Bike an Urban City Trail
Explore the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail, a 15-mile, off-road, multi-use path that takes you from Wrightsville Beach, through the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus, by the Cameron Art Museum and along several city parks on the way to James E.L. Wade Park.
Part of the Wilmington Comprehensive Greenway Plan, the River to the Sea Bikeway spans from downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach passing many landmarks along the way. Ride along the 10-mile path that takes you past parks and attractions along roadways and multi-use paths. View a map before you go.
Downtown, joggers and walkers are fond of the Wilmington Riverwalk. Spanning nearly two miles along the Cape Fear River, take in epic views of the USS Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, read history at knowledge kiosks and enjoy public art and sculptures along your journey.
Connect with Nature in Area Parks
Traverse a variety of distinct habitats at Carolina Beach State Park. In spring and summer the world's most unique carnivorous plant, the Venus flytrap can be seen in bloom throughout the park. While the park boasts nine different trails, bicyclists are allowed on only one trail, the one-mile round-trip Fitness Trail. The trail is open to both bicycle and foot traffic and includes several exercise and activity stations. Hike the 1.10-mile Basin Trail at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area to traverse the marshland and maritime forest. The trail also includes a WWII-era bunker and ends at the observation deck where Zeke's Island Reserve can be seen across The Basin. From trails to ales, end your adventure on the urban Wilmington Ale Trail for a craft beer-based excursion.
Trek through terrains that range from wetlands to hills, through the approximately eight miles of twisty-turny single track mountain bike trails at Blue Clay Park. There are both beginner and intermediate sections as well as a pump track.
The urban Greenfield Park is just a block from Wilmington's new South Front District. Upon entry, you'll feel miles away from civilization as you travel the biking and walking trails around the 250-acre park. Popular for birding and viewing wildlife in their natural habitat, visitors can spy alligators, turtles, wild turkeys and a variety of birds along the way.
Wilmington is known for its stunning Southern gardens. Take a breath of fresh air as you walk through year-round blooms, around expansive lakes and marvel at the ancient moss-draped oak trees at Airlie Gardens. Discover a unique water garden, Japanese tea house and more as you stroll the paved paths at New Hanover County Arboretum.
Experience the Island like a Local
Print your self-guided tour map and easily navigate Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher at a slower pace along easygoing roadways and paths. Learn about the history of the island and see points of interest along your tour.
Carolina Beach Lake Park is a destination for walkers, joggers and cyclists. Walk around the 11-acre freshwater lake located just blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.
The 1.2 mile Island Greenway path in Carolina Beach is part of a network of off-street trails, on-street bicycle lanes and parks linked together. View the map to stop at scenic locations along the way.
Shoot the Loop
Start your voyage at any point along the way, or park at Wrightsville Beach Park and set off on the 2.5-mile Loop at Wrightsville Beach. Walk or jog along the path heading towards the heart of town walking past marshes, across waterway bridges and among gardens looping back around to your starting point. While cyclists aren't allowed on the sidewalks that make up The Loop, Wrightsville Beach is a bicycle-friendly beach community. Designated bicycle lanes and shareable roadways make cycling on the island a delight.
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Vacation at a slower pace with "soft" outdoor adventures, perfect for most fitness levels.