As we keep adventuring around where we live, our exploration bubble keeps getting bigger. We've been to most hiking and paddling spots close to home so now we spread out a bit. That took us to Fort Fisher State Park and recreation area in Kure Beach, North Carolina.
The park consists of a historical center, short trails around bunkers and restored fence line, longer trails through a gorgeous salt marsh, a beautiful beach, a boat launch, and a (permit required) 4x4 all year round beach driving section. Here's a map of the park.
During the Civil War, Fort Fisher allowed the port of Wilmington to stay open to runners supplying goods to the confederacy upriver. This was an important, and one of the last, lifelines to Robert E. Lee (in Virginia at the time). It was cut off when the federalists attacked and took the fort in 1865. Once the fort was in the North's hands it was only a matter of time until the confederacy fell.
Can you spend a day here? For sure. A few things about our trip. We came from out of town which meant quite a drive through busy Wilmington and onto Carolina Beach (city traffic followed by tourist traffic). Once you get out to the Fort it's a great idea to bring a lunch and a cooler. Eating under the live oaks by the beach would be perfect. Even more perfect would be purchasing a daily 4x4 pass and taking to the beach via off-road vehicle (see the 4x4 beach entry pictures below). Other options include aquatic exploration from the boat launch, hiking the Basin Trail, or checking out the aquarium at the end of the island.
We loved it here. On our next trip we might look to stay a night close to the park to cut down on the Wilmington-traffic-driving, but what a picturesque beach and recreation area. Check it out!
~Paul & Amber everyonestravelclub.com
(Link to the official NC parks website for Fort Fisher)
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