While many may know Kure Beach for its sandy shore and water, our quaint beach town is also home to several beautiful parks to enjoy.With two state parks and seven municipal parks located in and around our charming beach town, take an autumn getaway to North Carolina’s small wonder to spend some time outdoors enjoying the naturally beautiful surroundings and fresh air in an extraordinary island oasis.
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
With six miles of protected shoreline and more than 288 acres of seashore and trails to explore, Fort Fisher State Recreation Area offers scenic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. Wander along the protected shoreline to spot coastal wildlife like loggerhead turtles, piping plovers and other rare species. Grab your rod and reel for a peaceful day surf fishing with the right license. Set out along primitive trails meandering through the salt marsh to discover an actual WWII bunker. Or, purchase a permit from the park’s visitor center – open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – to take your four-wheel-drive vehicle for a ride along the shore.
Joe Eakes Park
Lace up your athletic shoes because Joe Eakes Park is the perfect spot for athletes and amateurs alike. Whether you’re looking to play baseball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, bocce ball or even disc golf, this park has the course, field or court for you. You can even bring along furry friends for a day of play in the Gurney Hood Barking Lot, a fenced off-leash dog park.
Ocean Front Park and Pavilion
Located in the heart of town, Ocean Front Park and Pavilion is Kure Beach’s largest public green space. Situated along the oceanfront, enjoy the warm autumn breeze on the waterfront swings. Take a stroll along the seaside wooden boardwalk for gorgeous views featuring coastal fall hues.
You don’t have to venture off the island to discover even more parks to explore. Boasting 761 acres of hiking trails, fishing spots, waterfront views, camping areas and more, Carolina Beach State Park is a must-see attraction when visiting the area. Traverse the half-mile loop of Flytrap Trail to take in views of pocosin wetlands, longleaf pine and wiregrass savannah habitats. Aptly named, the trail is also home to Venus flytraps that grow natively in the area. Or, set out on Sugarloaf Trail to make your way to Sugarloaf Dune, a 50-foot forested sand dune where more than 5,000 soldier camped during the Civil War.
Take a stroll along the waterfront path surrounding Carolina Beach Lake Park. Located just two blocks from the ocean, the autumn breeze is perfect for a jog or walk with a friend or your pet. Or, visit Freeman Park for a relaxing day searching for seashells along the secluded beachfront.
Purchase a season pass from Carolina Beach Town Hall or the Town of Carolina Beach Parking Office to cruise along the shoreline in your four-wheel-drive vehicle and enjoy stunning sunsets, wide beaches and fantastic surf fishing.
History buffs will want to spend an afternoon at Joseph Ryder Lewis Jr. Park, where they’ll discover 150 years of carefully restored Civil War earthenworks, a gravel walking trail complete with historic wayfinding signs and boardwalks over local marshes. Recently opened, the park is open from dawn to dusk.
With tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, baseball, softball and soccer fields, a dog park and playground equipment, there’s a way for everyone to get active at Mike Chappell Park. You can even try something new with the 8,000-square-foot skate park equipped with ramps, rails and bowls. Or, enjoy our small-town beach vibe at McDonald Park, a neighborhood pocket park featuring a playground, walkways, picnic tables and more.
Don’t miss a getaway opportunity to spend some time in the fresh air outdoors. Whether you’re playing soccer, searching for seashells or exploring the island reserve, there’s so many ways to enjoy the parks in Kure Beach.