Abbey Nature Preserve Trail

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Abbey Nature Preserve

Abbey Nature Preserve Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hampstead, North Carolina that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 1.9 miles Elevation Gain: 52 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly


nature trips







wild flowers


Dedicated to the memory of Margaret Abbey Foy Moore, the Foy family has placed 67 acres of undeveloped land into the Coastal Land Trust. It will be used for educational school programs, birding and hiking. As you leave the parking areas, you'll enter the forest across from the livestock barns and enjoy walking along high and dry trails that wind down toward the pond. A short walk will take you on a return trip up the sandy road towards the house. A longer walk will take you across the dam to double back through the woods along the outflow stream and return along the sandy run.

9 days ago

Decent trail I’ve done many times. Pretty hard to get lost, just stay on the trail and it loops you around. A swing near the end of the trail is pretty fun. Wear your bug spray and keep your eyes on the ground, I see snakes frequently here.

11 days ago

Nice trail network. Small lake with fish and turtles to watch. Wide trails, well groomed. Will definitely be back to explore more. Nice areas to have a lunch.

mountain biking
1 month ago

It’s definitely a more hiking oriented trail, but there is some largely unknown single track trails that are very fun. Some steep drop ins provide for a fun ride.

Busy but beautiful trail.

3 months ago

Parts a little muddy and wet. A few dogs off leash Great but of land set aside

5 months ago

Great little gem near Hampstead! Perfect for the kiddos and dogs! We loved looking for all the little gnomes and fairies, but didn’t find any on the back side of the trail, mostly just around the little pond. Not sure if Florence took down some of the trees in the back but sad to see a lot of those down.

9 months ago

What a great trail! We took our 9-year-old and he loved looking for all the fairies and gnomes along the way (there are so many!). Whomever did that, thank you! We added a bit at the end and ended up with 3.7 miles total. Well-maintained and clearly marked trail.

10 months ago

thumbs up. easy flat trail.

Sun May 26 2019

Overall we enjoyed this trail. We took our six year old son and he was able to easily walk it. The main issue we had was with the trails not being marked very well. At tones we weren’t sure which way to go and ended up doing a figure 8 and completely missed the walk bridge. It was really clean though and I like that they had several trash cans along the way.... DON’T FORGET YOUR BUG SPRAY!!!!

Tue May 07 2019

It’s a great trail for children. I was able to show my son various plants and animals. There are signs that show you short cuts if you don’t want to walk the entire trail. There’s lots of shade too.

Mon Apr 22 2019

Easy, fun walking trail with the kiddos and pup. There are gnomes and fairies hidden throughout.

Wed Mar 27 2019

Very clean trail, no fallen trees or any debris after Florence. Connecting neighborhood trails can cause some confusion so stay on the main trails if you don't know your way around. Recommend a hike on Sunday afternoon... The nearby church has bells that make for a very surreal experience amongst the fairy houses that pepper this trail....

Sun Mar 24 2019

Family walk, mushroom hunting.

Sun Jan 27 2019

One of my favorite trails in all of Wilmington! Perfect no matter what season (autumn might be my favorite though - you can actually see some leaves changing colors!)

Sun Jan 06 2019

It's a quick trail that takes about a half hour to walk the outside loop. There are some crossover paths that can shorten your walk if you prefer. The good: - Easy trail - Pretty scenery - A large pond with a man made dam and bridge on either side - Easy access from Wilmington or Hampstead - Trash cans along trail The bad: - Very short - Some repairs and debris clearing is still being done from Hurricane Florence - No restrooms

Sat Dec 15 2018

I love this trail because of it’s close proximity to northern Wilmington and the quiet shaded dirt/sand trail. On a typical day there are anywhere from 2-10 people on the trail when I am. Most have a dog along and about half of them are unleashed, but I’ve never seen a problem. Half of the dogs are unleashed...not the people. Some of the trail gets muddy after a heavy rain but it’s only for about 10 feet, so it’s easy to walk around. Plenty of free parking. When it’s sunny and hot I do my walking and jogging at Abby, or as it’s commonly called “Poplar Grove”. The best parking lot is on the north side of Poplar Grove Mansion which is also a great place to visit.

Mon Dec 03 2018

My favorite spot that I’ve discovered so far! It’s out of the busy-ness of Wilmington, clean, and neat things to discover here! Plus there are animals that often walk up to the fences for head scratches :)

Mon Nov 05 2018

Shaded a lot of the way, easy trails. A lot of dogs.

Tue Oct 23 2018

This is open again. I think they closed it due to hurricane damage

Wed Oct 17 2018

This trail is closed now when I went. There are private property signs posted, and a gate at the entrance

Mon Oct 01 2018

This is a perfect little walking trail when you just need to get away for about an hour. I put in my headphones and listen to relaxing music - EMDR bilateral stimulation is the perfect music for this trail. A stop on the bridge is a must do so you can see all the turtles swim up to it. I enjoy seeing all the cute dogs along the trail too.

Sat Jun 30 2018

Nice little woodsy trail. Enjoyed it with my four Shih Tzu companions over the past few years. The only issue that I have is that sometimes the bikers go too fast and tend to chase walkers off the trails, otherwise it is a fun adventure.

Mon Jun 11 2018

Nice easy mostly shaded trail. Peaceful and beautiful scenery. Lots of benches and trash cans along the hike.

Sun May 20 2018

Beautiful serene hike would definitely recommend

Fri Apr 27 2018

My dogs and I love this trail. Several different ways to go so it never gets boring and my dogs have a swim in the middle of our hike.

Wed Nov 29 2017

The trails were a bit to follow, they are poorly marked but the park is almost impossible to get lost in. I jumped around from trail to trail and around the gorgeous lake, to try and make the trip longer. The hike isn’t very long but if you walk everything it’s worth the trip. The only issue is all of the stupid dog owners. My dog and I went on a Saturday and no one had their dogs on leash, which meant dogs sprinting up and barking at my dog for almost the entire trip. Crowded on the weekends.

Tue Nov 07 2017

Nice bridge, well marked trails friendly people and dogs

Fri Jul 14 2017

Wonderful hike with beautiful weather. Be wary of the trail markers though, it's very easy to get off trail.

Tue Jul 04 2017

Great walk with lovely views. My pup enjoyed it as well!

Sun Jul 02 2017

Went this morning, nice, shady trail. Saw a huge water moccasin in a tree stump in the pond. Great walk!

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