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 trail for the family especially for younger kids. Easy trails and theyre not to long. If your looking for something a little more serious your not missing much if you pass on this trail. It's more suited for picnics and family time.

Good trail, had some really nice scenery and would be a good running trail. It does get pretty buggy in the marshy areas so bring some deet.

hiking
8 days ago

nice and quiet. variety of plant and bird species.

Nice little trail with lots of geocaches but I don't understand why my reviews on this trail keep disappearing???

Nice little trail with lots of geocaches. I've done it many times over the years. My previous reviews on this trail keep getting deleted for some unknown reason???
(now the other review is back???)
(now the other review is gone again!)

trail running
11 days ago

Great for trail running has a variety of graded terrain with amazing veiws!! Highly recommend

hiking
18 days ago

This trail is well maintained and has some really pretty views. Plenty of shaded areas as well as sunny areas where you get a good view of the ocean. We brought our five daughters with us and
they had no problems doing this trail.

on Fort Macon Beach Trail

walking
18 days ago

great trail to walk

Great park. It was very humid the day that I ran here but the well maintained trails and views of the river and Forrest made up for my discomfort.

It’s beautiful

Perfect short morning hike with the pup. Interesting flora.

hiking
29 days ago

Many of the trails are marked poorly and duplicate as biking trails. The trails are thin and impassible so you must always look behind you when hiking, reel the pup in, and step aside to let bikers pass. It makes the time in nature a little less enjoyable.

This trail never gets old. Within the last twenty-five years I guess I've ran, walked and plodded Hardtimes on a weekly basis.

mountain biking
1 month 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

hiking
1 month ago

Half a star out of 5.

walking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month 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.

Family-friendly trail with scenic views of Lake Norman

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
2 months ago

Super bummed with this trail. We left from the Oyster Point campground, and it was great for about .35mi...until it was completely washed out. No warning or notice from the trail start. Definitely had potential but poorly maintained and would have been nice to have a heads up that it was closed or something. Hopefully we will get an opportunity to try it again.

on Elliot Coues Trail

mountain biking
2 months 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.

Easy hike that takes you through a landscape you don’t expect to see. It starts out in a maritime forest before entering a schrub thicket and then onto sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. The sound and marsh views are wonderful. There is about a 30 foot climb straight up a sand dune when coming back from the sound. The visitor center at the trailhead is nice and has several interesting nature exhibits including fulgurite from lightening strikes on the sand dunes.

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.

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