Greater Wilmington boasts some of the most beautiful parks in Eastern North Carolina. We’ve profiled some of our favorite parks and trails to share with you. If you’re new to the area or just visiting, we highly recommend trips to Airlie Gardens, Greenfield Lake, and Carolina Beach State Park. All of the parks listed on this page are free with the exception of Airlie.

Have small children? Hugh McRae, Halyburton, and Empie all have nice playground and short (1.5 miles or less) walking/biking trails.

If you’re looking to ride your bike, be sure to check out Wilmington’s Cross City Trail and River to Sea Bikeway. The Cross City Trail is not complete but there are some large sections where riders do not have to ride on streets. The River to Sea Bikeway does require a lot of on-street riding. At this time, both might not be great choices for those with young kids. If you  do have kids, you can ride around Greenfield Lake, Halyburton, Empie, and Hugh McRae without having to ride on the road (just be aware that you do have to cross exits and entrance ways). If you’re looking to ride off-road, there are fun trails at the Brunswick Nature Park across the river.

We hope you enjoy the parks and gardens as much as we do. Have fun!

More Parks and Garden in and Around Wilmington

Airlie Gardens
300 Airlie Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
(910) 798-7700
Learn More about Airlie Gardens

Notes: We highly recommend a trip to Airlie Gardens. Take a beautiful walk around the grounds and breathe in the salt air. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful attractions in our community.

Carolina Beach State Park
1010 State Park Road
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-8206

Notes: Hike, bike, camp, kayak, fish and more in this awesome State Park along the shores of the Cape Fear River and Snows Cut.

Greenfield Lake Park & Gardens
1510 South 3rd Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 341-7855
More on Greenfield Park

Notes: Lots to do for the whole family. If you brought your bikes or running shoes, take a four mile loop around the lake. There are also canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, playgrounds, tennis courts and a skateboard park.

Empie Park
3405-A Park Avenue
Wilmington, NC   28403
(910) 341-7852
More on Empie Park

Notes: Located in Mid Town. Empie offers tons of recreational options including a dog park, tennis and basketball courts, bocce, shuffleboard, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, a walking/biking path, picnic areas and more.

Halyburton Park
4099 S 17th St
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 341-0075
More on Halyburton Park

Notes: What’s there to do at Halyburton Park? Bike, run, or walk around the park’s trail system. Hit the playgrounds, have a picnic, or do a headstand in yoga class.

Hugh McRae Park
1799 S College Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403
(910) 798-7620
More on Hugh McRae Park

Notes: Located about half way between downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. Hugh McRae has trails around the outside of the park, one of the best playgrounds in Wilmington, sand volleyball courts, multiple baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, and a dog park.

Ogden Park
Ogden Park Dr (off of Market Street)
Wilmington, NC 28411
(910) 798-7620
More on Ogden Park

Notes: Ogden Park is a popular destination for locals living on the northern end of Wilmington. There are walking trails, sports facilities, a dog park, and more.

EvHenwood
6150 Rock Creek Rd NE
Leland, NC
(910) 253-6066

Notes: Great place to take a hike across the Cape Fear River in Leland. It’s a 175 acre park loaded with walking trails. No dogs are allowed on the property (boo).

River Road Park
6300 River Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 798-7198

Notes: Nice little park along River Road which has a small boat launch and handicapped accessible fishing pier.

Veterans Park
835 Halyburton Memorial Parkway
Wilmington, NC
(910) 798-7620

Notes: Primarily used as a large sports complex filled with soccer, baseball, and football field.

Poplar Grove Plantation
10200 US Highway 17 North
Wilmington, NC 28429
(910) 686-9518

Notes: Offers daily tours of the home and grounds. Plus there are acres of beautiful wooded trails.

Brunswick Nature Park
2601 River Road
Winnabow, NC 28479
(910) 253-2670

Notes: Located across the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County. Explore close to 900 acres on land, via kayak, or hit the biking trails.

Ogden Park in Wilmington NC

| Get Outdoors, Living Here, Parks | 2 Comments
To contact Ogden Park, please call (910) 798-7620. Ogden Oasis From the moment you pull in to Ogden Park you will be struck by its beauty. Located at 615 Ogden Park Drive off of Gordon Road. When you first enter Ogden Park you'll see three baseball fields and one softball field. Youth leagues play here and you will often see parents on the field, practicing baseball with their kids during the week. There is a very clean...
Events Center at Halyburton Park

Halyburton Park

| Exercise, Get Outdoors, Kids, Parks | 2 Comments
To contact Halyburton Park, please call (910) 341-0075. Halyburton Park is managed by the City of Wilmington, NC and is located on S. 17th St. beyond Cameron Art Museum and just before you get to S. College Road. Halyburton has a smooth paved 1.3 mile loop trail through the pine forest with off-road hiking trails through the middle of the loop. Halyburton is a favorite destination for families because of the two playgrounds, swingset, picnic...
Azaleas in bloom around Greenfield Lake Park in Wilmington, North Carolina

Greenfield Lake Park

| Attractions, Events, Exercise, Get Outdoors, Parks | 2 Comments
To contact Greenfield Lake Park, please call (910) 341-7855. One of Wilmington NC's Coolest City Parks Greenfield Lake Park is a beautiful city park located just a couple miles from Historic Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. The park features a flat four mile walking and biking path which weaves its way around the lake back to the main parking area. Greenfield Lake is a popular fishing spot for locals who frequently congregate at the spillway at the...
Azaleas and Live Oaks

Airlie Gardens – Wilmington NC Park Profiles

| Attractions, Get Outdoors, Parks | 3 Comments
To contact Airlie Gardens, please call (910) 798-7700. Airlie Gardens is a property of New Hanover County and is maintained as a historic public garden. The gardens are the last undeveloped land open to the public along Bradley Creek in Wilmington. There is an admission fee that visitors and residents must pay to enter the park. However, entrance to the park is free on the first Sunday of each month for New Hanover County residents. This is...