- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Explore the best rated trails in Wilmington, NC, whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Jacksonville-Camp LeJeune Rail-to-Trails and Island Greenway . With more than 5 trails covering 35 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
Since moving to Wilmington several years ago, the Gary Shell Cross Trail is the best biking trail that I’ve discovered so far! Most of the trail is paved with signage leading the way, keep your eyes peeled. You’ll have to get creative when crossing several busy roads but, overall it’s a relative easy ride. You’ll pass the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), bike through several parks and even get to explore some of UNCW’s main campus. You can stop for refreshments at Flying Machine Brewery, Soundside Seafood and Raw Bar, or Drift (either at Autumn Hall or R Wrightsville BeCh).
This is a great first ride in Wilmington to learn some nieborhoods. Could use a little better signage.
Not a fan. Poor to non-existant signage - extremely difficult to follow. Some stretches of sidewalk, some bike lanes, some dedicated bike paths - none of which connect smoothly. Rode four frustrating miles and turned around.
Just get out a road map and go for it if you are extremely comfortable road riding. Wilmington is a beautiful town that has had little interest in building bike paths. They think calling a heavily trafficked road a bike path if you add a sign.
I rode this in December 2022 As most of it is on road I would call this a bike route and not really a trail Some of the on road sections are on busy roads without a specific bike lane Some of the route in the downtown area is on brick pavement so not fun to ride on I did see lots of signs for the trail where turns required Some other comments mentioned parts of it are in unsafe areas. I certainly did not feel that was true.
Rode this trail in December 2022 It is all paved and generally well marked However if you are not comfortable riding in bike lanes on busy roads this is NOT your trail Lots of traffic signals with long waits to cross multi lane streets There are some scenic parts thru parks
I rode this trail one time and did not enjoy it and swore I'd never do it again. It was difficult to follow/find, unattractive, and dangerous. I lived in downtown Wilmington at Pier 33 for 2 months and rode to Wrightsville Beach frequently, but only once on this full trail. Instead, I created a more pleasant, safe and enjoyable route from downtown to Empie Park and then hopped on the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail, which is MUCH prettier, enjoyable, and safe.
I stayed downtown on the waterfront for two months, and in that time I rode a combination of the River to Sea and Gary Shell Cross-City Trail to go from downtown to Wrightsville Beach. The River to Sea Trail is pretty tough, with narrow, bumpy streets downtown and only bike lanes which amounted to painted markings only. It goes through some pretty sketch neighborhoods, too. I didn't always feel safe, so I improvised and created my own route from downtown to where I intersected the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail at Empie Park. At that point, I followed the Gary Shell trail and I enjoyed most all of the ride to the beach. Of course, I'd love fewer traffic lights, but honestly for that part of the trail there were long stretches of uninterrupted trail that felt less like city riding with lakes, trees, etc. From my location at Pier 33 apartments, it was almost exactly 15 miles to Wrightsville Beach, making a perfect afternoon ride out and back.
What a wonderful way to get across town. From Halyburton Park, to Wrightsville Beach. 15 Mile one way a total of 30 miles make a day of it
Road most of the trail from Wilmington to almost 2 miles from the beach. Nice trail, fairly well marked. There is one spot mid way that switch backs to use a crosswalk on a busy road. Ok but could be marked better. The hard part came towards the end your crossing and and going on busy roads to cross the bridges. We at that point turned back. Later we found if you jump on the cross city trail for a bit it would have helped with the second bridge. All and all it needs work in that busy and contested area.
Start your ride or walk at the Memorials Parking Lot (do not ride bikes in the memorials) proceed on the bike path and board walks approx 2.5 miles to the tunnel on left, go through and join Rail Trail path, turn right an go 3.3 miles to Trail head, turn and return, go past the the tunnel & over bridge, proceed follow the trail all the way to the old town, follow to Riverwalk Park, and follow Bike signs to the riverfront an continue following signs past Stuggeon City Enviro education Ctr, you can go in if you wish, continue following bike path signs to Wilson Bay Park for a brief stop, then continue back to the Memorials parking lot, total miles, approx 17 miles.
Wonderful paved trail. Did see a Copperhead on the trail!!
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!