Parks and Recreation2021-12-13T12:19:24+00:00

Parks & Recreation Around Wilmington

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? Long Leaf, 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 almost complete but there are some sections where riders do 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 on a mountain bike, there are fun trails at Blue Clay Bike Park on the north end of town and at the Brunswick Nature Park across the river and the

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

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.

Long Leaf Park

1799 S College Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403
(910) 798-7620
More on Long Leaf 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.


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.

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Long Leaf Park

To contact Long Leaf Park, please call (910) 798-7620. Long Leaf Park in Wilmington Long Leaf Park in Wilmington, NC is a favorite of ours. We loved it when the kids were little because [...]

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