Enjoy a leisurely day at the ocean shore. Comb the beach for sea stars, keyhole urchins and whelk shells. Or, simply lie back on the sand and enjoy the aerial acrobatics of seagulls, terns and brown pelicans as they soar above the waves. You may want to venture into the mud flats and marshes to watch sandpipers and other shorebirds as they search for food. Learn about endangered species. Loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers and other rare species nest along this sandy shore. Explore the North Carolina coast; visit Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. This stretch of pristine shoreline offers many enjoyable activities. Approximately six miles of beach provide all the sun, sand, sea and sky you can soak up in a day. Experience the ocean away from all the crowds. From the recreation area parking lot, an elevated boardwalk leads over the sand dunes to the beach, form where visitors can walk along one of the few remaining undeveloped stretches of shoreline on our southern coast. Located on the southern tip of Pleasure Island near Wilmington, Fort Fisher lies between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Cape Fear River on the west. Here are miles of white, sandy beach for sunning, swimming and fishing. The salt marsh, tidal creeks and mud flats form a natural outdoor laboratory exhibiting the wonders of a coastal environment.

Insect repellant is a must. You can't win without.

Great until it gets hot!

Short and easy - keep an eye out for crabs! Lots of birds too. A nice stroll

Way too short, but great views!

Very easy trail for a family with a jogging stroller. Beautiful views!

great beginners trail

Nice easy trail, completely flat but I loved the raised boardwalks over the mud flats and marshes. Plus you can detour to the beach which is great

It was very intriguing due to all the history associated with the trail. You have the Civil War history all in the surrounding area of Ft. Fisher, then the WWII Bunker that was later used as a home by The Ft. Fisher Hermit. See the website run by The Ft. Fisher Hermit Society. The Basin Trail AKA The Hermit Trail ends at an observation deck where you can sit and enjoy a scenic view in solitude. An offshoot trail takes you behind the NC Aquarium at Ft. Fisher which is another worthy tourist attraction. You park at Ft. Fisher State Recreation Area where you can enjoy an incredible day at the Beach and have access to grills and picnic tables and restroom facilities or get a day pass to drive your 4 Wheel drive vehicle onto pristine beaches and even fish with a 10 day license. You can get your license and even rent fishing equipment at the local True Value Hardware Store at Carolina Beach. The Park office issues day passes to drive on the beach right where you start the hike on Basin Trail. Many other attractions and recreational opportunities on Pleasure Island and in the surrounding area. We highly recommend it!

Wonderful trail. Saw so much wild life and beautiful scenery.

Great place to walk and think. The view is always special and the wildlife is AWESOME! People are great along the trail as well. WWII Bunker, Hermit home is quit a site.

I was excited to explore the trail bits straight forward and really easy. The only downfall to the experience was the excessive amount of bees flying around. The trail has a lot of tree coverage and its early in the season, so there were hundreds of bees flying around. It was a let down at the time. I think next time I will have to time the hike a little better.

Very excited to hear about this! The last time we tried to find the bunker was in 1990. There wasn't much accessibility then, as the original trail was too overgrown. Just a few steps into the thicket and you were in deep, dark territory. We hiked a short distance, but never found the bunker. I've looked for it on Google Earth, but cannot see any visible landmark. I assumed for years that it had maybe been torn down.

Great hike and I blogged about it. Link included here. http://theecotoneexchange.com/2014/02/13/treasures-on-the-fort-fisher-basin-trail/

Well marked, flat trail through beautiful woods. In the fall its recommended that hikers wear bright orange because of hunters in the area.

Easy, flat trail through beautiful woods. Never crowded. Nice place to bring your dog.

Beautiful walk through a coastal salt marsh. Be sure to check out the WWII bunker where "The Fort Fisher Hermit" lived from 1956 to 1972.

you can find sharks teeth in the old ballast stones that line the shore. very cool

Fun to do with kids.