Explore beach - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

beach Map
mountain biking
5 days ago

Great places to explore the old dunes of the island.

Short wooded trail. Leads to excellent swimming area. Also has cool historic sites.

I saw a beautiful blue heron and blooming Lillies on the little pond and the gnarled trees are gorgeous

19 days ago

Have done this trail many times over the past few years in combination with the other many trails in Carolina Beach State Park. All are enjoyable adventures.

Have done this trail many times over the past few years in combination with the other many trails in Carolina Beach State Park. All are enjoyable adventures.

Nice trails but a little challenging for my dog stroller in some of the sandy parts. Have done the trails many times over the years.

22 days ago

Beautiful beach. A short ferry ride to the island then about a 1/2 mile walk on a paved path to the other side of the island where the beach is. There is a small concession stand there, a restroom, and a shower to rinse off after enjoying the beach. The island is about 4 miles in total length so if you decide to walk it you will not see very many people at all, most of the day trippers stay right at the entrance. Bring lots of water so you stay hydrated. It’s a great place to spend a day.

Short and mostly flat. Wear good shoes as there are lots of surface roots. After a rain the trail is muddy in spots. About halfway through there is a platform overlooking the sound. There wasn’t.a lot of wildlife out at the time except for an abundance of frogs along the trail.

Nice little trail which I have done many times with my dogs. Lots of geocaches along the trail.

I've enjoyed this beach walk many times with my four Shih Tzu companions in recent years. The southern half is the best part because no cars/trucks are allowed except for a rare ranger vehicle. Very peaceful and usually takes me about five to six hours to walk the 18.2 mile round trip starting at the gazebo on the north end to the turnaround point at Cape Fear Point. It is well worth the effort. And for those who are in to geocaching, please check out the Wherigo geocache "GC63J2J".

mountain biking
1 month ago

This is a beautiful trail with mix of hikers and mountain bikers. Travel is single track and bi-directional. There are elevation changes on the beach side with great views of dunes, beaches, and ocean. The sound side offers a canopied trail with numerous boardwalks and nature sitings. Two or three laps of this 3.2 mile loop make a great workout.

This was a fun, easy trail that children will love. To get to the trailhead though you will have to walk, bike or get a ride. There is no parking anywhere near the trailhead.

The trail starts in a maritime forest and has informational signs that tell the history of Springer’s Point, which was a popular hangout for Blackbeard the pirate. The gravesite of one of the prior owners of the point, who is buried next to his favorite horse, is on the trail to the beach.

The beach was busy but there was amazing sound/sea life including hermit crab, moon jellyfish and blue crab. The highlight was a Sea Nettle Jellyfish swimming just off the beach. On the way back we passed an Eastern Six-lined Racerunner. This was a wonderful nature trail.

Enjoyable loop trail through a maritime forest to a salt marsh with a view of the sound beyond it where several shorebirds feed. There is an elevated deck overlooking the marsh and sound that would be a good place to set up a spotting scope. Poison Ivy is abundant along the trail but the trail is wide and it isn’t much of a problem. I’ve never seen so many Fowler’s Toads in one place. They were hopping off the trail every twenty or thirty feet. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead.

Note: dogs are only allowed between in the winter. From Halloween to the end of March. But check first. The dates have shifted over the years. Ringworm, turtle & bird nesting are issues having to do with dogs during spring & summer.

trail running
2 months ago

This is an easy hike/walk providing a nice mixture of ocean and wetland scenery. The first half offered decent shade as you meander through the trees. There were some flies that did their best to annoy, but really they weren't too bad. This was early May, so bug repellent may be a good idea in the summer months. The other half provided good ocean views, and a nice breeze.

Large area, beautiful terrain and views. Try to get lost along the river for the best, hidden outlooks!

2 months ago

Amazing views! Good part of the trail is sand so wear shoes you don’t mind getting all sandy!

Really nice trail! Great views, trail is super easy to follow and on top of it you can check out Fort Macon while your there!!

We love the CB State Park trails. If you’re looking for a leisure stroll through the woods I recommend these trails! Stroller friendly 99% of the time except for a small (1/4 mile) of sandy trail along the water.

Carolina Beach State Park has so much to enjoy and a number of trails to explore! If you want to take a stroll though the woods I recommend this trail! Stroller friendly 99% of the time with a short (1/4 mile) sandy trail along the water.

We love this trail! It’s the perfect combination of beach and wooded and great for everyone of all ages. Not stroller friendly. Great story to go along with the hike, The Fort Fischer Hermit. Be sure to check out the WWII bunker along the way and the overlook at the end of the trail.

I enjoy this trail. It is dog friendly, and very easy. I, unfortunately, have only been able to go on the shorter section because of my wife, but it's a good trail for physical therapy. easy, small inclies, and you have the option to walk on sand or dirt almost the whole time.

The Lake Trail at Cliffs of the Neuse is a very smooth trail meandering through the woods and by the lake and boathouse. Very pretty, however the trail is not at all marked well. There are no trail markers nor is it on any of the permanent maps at the park.

Great trail, super easy to follow! Has Nice views of the river. Nice afternoon hike!

Such a great trail to have next to the beach as an option to not walking the beach. The dune-side is up and down, so it is a pretty good workout, with some great views of the ocean and the forest-side has nice views of the intercoastal water way.

Great! Swing at the end btw.

3 months ago

I have hiking these trails for years and they are slowly gaining in popularity. It is a great long hike if you do all of it - 7 miles. There are several ways to do portions. It can be confusing but there are completely paved areas as well as typical trails. Lots of hills so it’s a good workout. I am sorry that the hiker above thought they had to cross the river to find the trail. You don’t. My best suggestion is to download the map or take a pic of the one at the trail.

4 months ago

Really nice and quiet little trail. Well kept.

Beautiful meandering trail through the thick maritime forest, marsh and dunes. Easy hike with diverse terrain and lots of sweeping views. At the midway point, hop over to the public swim area for a beach front lunch break. Easily completed in 1.25 to 1.50 hrs.

love this park. wish more people were respectful of it. Seen alot of folks wandering off the trail, going up to Sugarloaf hill, and abusing some serious Trail rules. This place is a preserve and should be treated as such. Landmarks should be treated with respect. Please stay on the trails and preserve this state park so that other people can enjoy it for a lifetime, thank you.

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