Located in New Hanover County 18 miles south of Wilmington, Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is the only park in the system that allows four-wheel-drive beach access, making it popular for surf fishing. Warm weather months bring loggerhead sea turtles to nest along the park's sandy shores. A trail traverses the salt marsh and ends at an observation deck with views of Zeke's Island and the Cape Fear River. The marsh, brimming with wildlife, provides plenty of watching opportunities for birders and photographers year-round.
There are no fees required to access Fort Fisher State Recreation Area for day us, except that fees are charged per vehicle to utilize the four-wheel-drive beach. Fees are also charged for certain event permits and facility reservations.