The perfect trail for every adventurer awaits in Kure Beach, whether it's a leisurely stroll along historic pathways or a hike through coastal wonders and protected beaches. Our coastal community's relaxed pace and natural surroundings create a welcoming environment for curious wanderers.

Trailing Back in Time

Fort Fisher State Historic Site was home to the Civil War's largest land and sea battle and now the remains of the South's largest earthen fort. The fort's remains are on display along the Tour Trail, a roughly quarter-mile-long path encircling the fort's remnants. Exhibit panels with images and information are placed along the trail to help guide hikers, and you can even see a restored gun emplacement at the top of one of the batteries. A pavilion with an underwater archeology display waits at the trail's end. At scheduled times throughout the year, costumed guides host guided tours of the grounds to tell the stories of the infantrymen and demonstrate non-firing artillery drills. 

Come Trail Away

Discover miles of protected shoreline at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area and explore the state park's natural wonders along primitive trails or sandy shores. The Basin Trail travels through coastal habitats and maritime forests while displaying soundside flora and fauna. Out-and-back, the trail is 2.2 miles long, with portions located along on the beach, a wooden boardwalk or on natural surfaces. Hikers will pass a WWII-era bunker where Robert Harrill, the Fort Fisher Hermit, lived for over a decade. The trail’s turnaround point features an overlook deck at the basin of the Cape Fear River, where you can spot Zeke's Island Reserve, an undisturbed habitat across the water.

Self-guided nature trails are situated on the northern edge of Zeke's Island Reserve, allowing visitors to explore its protected habitats. Accessible only by boat, the reserve is a collection of isolated islands and miles of shoreline featuring tidal flats, salt marshes, shrub thickets and more. Kayak Carolina provides guided kayak tours and rentals, enabling visitors to paddle to access the island for hiking adventures and eco-exploration.

For a more challenging hike, set off at low tide on the 17.7-mile out-and-back Fort Fisher to Bald Head Island trail, perfect for birdwatching and fishing. Be sure to plan ahead and pack proper gear as the typically six-hour long journey, out and back, is only accessible during low-tide.

Trails for Two-Wheels

Explore Kure Beach on two wheels with a bike rental from nearby Pleasure Island Rentals and discover more of the island on a self-guided bike tour. Ride along the self-guided bike path through Fort Fisher State Historic Site and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. Enjoy the outdoors at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, which features a bike trail leading to Nature Play, one of the aquarium's outdoor play spaces.

Nearby State Park Adventures

Nearby on the island, more natural wonders await at Carolina Beach State Park, where 13 different coastal habitats thrive within the 761 acres of protected green space. Explore the park through a system of nine different trails totaling 8.5 miles. The popular Flytrap Trail is a half-mile loop where the indigenous Venus flytrap grows in the wild. Go on a self-guided hike or opt to attend a weekly park ranger-led hike along this trail. The Sugarloaf Trail stretches nearly 3 miles and passes by a precolonial, 50-foot dune and the site where 5,000 troops camped during the Civil War. View a map of the park’s trail system here.

Journey through Kure Beach at your own pace by exploring its diverse trails and pathways, offering up-close experiences with coastal ecosystems and protected habitats in nature's playground.