Carolina Beach State Park is located in New Hanover County, 12 miles south of Wilmington on the northwestern corner of Pleasure Island. The 761-acre park is home to interesting carnivorous plants including the well-known Venus flytrap. Thirteen (13) different ecosystem types may be traversed here along nine (9) miles of hiking trails. Sugarloaf Dune, a 50-foot relic sand dune, is a popular natural and cultural destination as well as, three unique limestone sink ponds with interesting flora and refugia for a variety of amphibians, reptiles and birds. Camping is a favorite activity among visitors. Options include, tent, trailer, camper cabin and RV camping. The park’s public marina provides access to the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway, making it a well-known access for boaters and anglers. Nature enthusiasts come for the serenity of the longleaf pine forest where brown-headed nuthatches may be seen, but also summer resident painted buntings that are frequently seen along the water perched in red cedars. Deer are often seen browsing along park roadsides and the Eastern Fox Squirrel is increasing its populations thanks to frequent prescribed burns in the pinewoods, and is always a treat.
*Please note, if the Visitor Center is closed for some reason or it is after hours, the Marina Store, at the end of State Park Rd., is a staffed location that is open until 30 mins. before closing of the main park gate.