Explore the most popular beach trails in North Carolina with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great! Swing at the end btw.

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.

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.

Went on this trail in March, 2018. Was originally a really nice trail right by the water. However the trail is not kept (which i normally don’t mind) but the trail goes through very tall sawgrass and then leads to the river where there is no where to cross. So to get to the rest of the trail you need to cross the river (about waist deep but you sink into the mud) once I got across the river because my dog had already crossed there were no apparent trails that lead to anything. All the trails lead to either someone’s backyard or into marsh area. The part of the trail before the sawgrass and river is nice but not very long. I spent about 45 mins trying to find a path that connected with the trail with no luck and had to back track and cross the river again to get back to the trail.

Not maintained at all. Had to double back numerous times to find the trail. Eventually I lost the trail completely and turned around. Lasted only about 1 mile. Will give it one more try and walk it. However my first impression is this trail is not worth your time.

Fun and an easy place to run!

Nice as long as stay along beach. Went inland and the mosquitos were horrendous. and took wrong turn somewhere and ended up walking along road

Parked at public beach Fort Macon, walked along beach to the Fort, then took trail back that goes through sand dunes. Easy and relaxing, beautiful beach views

on the water and with some forest/ trees but completely paved and over built.

Very nice walk along the river. We only ran into a few people along the way so not terribly busy. The jets flying overhead can get noisy but it's also kind of neat to see. We mostly stuck to the beach but when we were on the trail it seemed well established. My dogs loved it and were good and tired after.

Beautiful underated trail.

I’ve been coming to this park since 2004 and it’s one of my favorite places in the Wilmington area!

1 month ago

Easy and short dog-friendly trails with beautiful views of the water. Lots of venus flytraps and painted buntings to be seen.

Keep an eye out for copperheads.

I chose this route as an alternative to one of the Pirhana trails since it is on the military base (**warning - unless you have a valid military ID, you can’t get anywhere near the trails on the base’s land; this isn’t clear in the listing).
Though the trail is nice and pleasant, a few drawbacks...
- Finding the trail and navigating the crossroads can be challenging, there are some faded printouts stapled to the tree.
- Because its right next to an airbase, there were frequent jets passing by. Although it wasn’t terrible, it did break up the silence.
- I’m not sure when the last rain was, however there were a few sections of the trail that were completely flooded.

A nice place to stroll with my pup when I come to town

Great afternoon trot with the pup. The end observation deck was breathtaking. In the sun it got pretty warm but was much cooler in the covered/tree areas on the trail. Lots of families out on the nice weekend so if you’re looking for more solitude I would maybe try another trail. Still a good overall trail.

A great walk in the woods! Nothing like the AT or other Nelson county trails, but nevertheless it’s right here on the island and easy to walk up a sweat!

great for trail running. need markers however for the newer trails. its easy to get lost

Good, short trail. Had some really nice views of marsh and wading birds half way through the loop. Tons of fowler's toads and other little critters along the trail too. If you venture out in the late afternoon/evening, be prepared to be bitten.

2 months ago

Light/mod traffic, nice river views. Several places for the dogs to swim in the river.

Enjoyed it!

Easy. Nice views

2 months ago

Had a great time on the trail all to myself and my dogs on Christmas morning!

2 months ago

Beautiful spot to camp and enjoy the beach! We had an exciting camping trip as a strong storm headed over the island the night we camped there. Definitely a little scary - but an experience we'll never forget. Clean showers & bathroom over there and really serene setting!

Have paddled out of Hammocks Beach many times - nice paddling spot & easy for kids/newbies too. Even saw a small gator splash into the water near us & dolphins. Be aware that over the weekend (esp. summer) that jet skiers can sometimes race up and down the channel, causing wakes that might flip out inexperienced paddlers. Have to be really aware of your surroundings, as we've had a few experiences with jet skis getting right up on us.

Easy trail through some forested areas with good views of the lake and the mountains.

trail running
3 months ago

Great well maintained trail loop. Also one of the most beautiful in terms on scenery as well. Trail is packed gravel and very wide, has some great elevation along it too. It’s about 3.3 miles in length and perfect for a decent trail run or hike with family. I’m a trail runner so the one complaint would be is it’s not longer but can always run the road or run trail twice if you like long distance and want to add to it. I definitely recommend

Great scenery easy hike. Pleasant walking adventure by the lake.

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