With a marina providing access to some of North Carolina's best fishing spots, a secluded camping area beneath towering trees, and miles of hiking trails that traverse a variety of distinct habitats--not to mention the presence of the Venus flytrap, one of the world's most unique carnivorous plants--it's no wonder Carolina Beach State Park is a popular coastal attraction. Located in an area steeped in both history and natural diversity, the park includes a visitor's center with exhibits depicting the wonders of its environment. Visit Carolina Beach State Park to relax, enjoy nature or embark on an eye-opening adventure.
I have lived in the area for 27 years and this is the 1st time I have walked some of the trails. It's the island so not much elevation change. I went to find somewhere to get me in nature and start preparing for treks on the App Trail. You will see me out there alot.
Like others have said....."only trail in New Hanover", so yes it's nothing more than a "stroll thru the woods" but it is beautiful! I'm a dog owner/lover, and I do agree...... Too many dogs on the trail! And by this, I am targeting "Un-Chained" dogs. Listen, I love my dog, and wish I could let my female Aussie loose too, but just because she doesn't bother me, doesn't mean she isn't bothering the family "around the bend" or the elderly couple concentrating on not tripping in the roots. People..... Please..... Use a leash! There is a time, and place to let them run, but on public trails isn't the prime place!
Other than that, trails are clean, well manicured, and well marked! I just want some ELEVATION!
I hiked this entire state park March 2015. All the trails are very well kept and the signs make it incredibly easy to navigate. The entire state park is pretty flat except for the sugarloaf dune. The dune is definitely the most exciting part of the park overall. There's a tire swing and it offers a good view of the Cape Fear River. Another really cool thing about the park is that there's a large variety of ecosystems that exist within the park. If you hike on a few different trails the scenery can be quite different from the last. (The Wilmington area is also native to the Venus Flytrap, so watch for those! They are endangered though, so be careful.) Overall, very nice and well-kept park!
Nice hike - but in reality it is more of a nature walk. Still, the best trail in all of New Hanover County. You encounter several different ecosystems, and get some nice views, especially at the top of Sugarloaf Dune. If you mix in the loop with the other trails you can turn this into a nice 5 mile hike. Definitely not strenuous, but a pleasant way to spend 1.5-2 hours.
J J. on Sugarloaf Trail
There are not many trails in New Hanover County that inspire awe and this one isn't much different. It is above average for the area but not worth driving accross the state to hike. The upside: longleaf pine forrest, river view, the only slightly elevated "hill" in the Cape Fear region (sugarloaf), venus fly traps... the downside: lots of people with dogs, runners, not very long or isolated, not a lot of interesting things to see. The campground is actually not too bad. Nice bathrooms and showers and decent primitive campsites.