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The Gary Shell Cross-City Trail connects the Wilmington campus of the University of North Carolina with the city's many recreational attractions, including Halyburton Park, Empie Park, McCrary Park, and Wade Park, providing important off-road connections across a wide swath of the coastal city.
The trail route totals around 15 miles in total; most of the route is a wide, paved asphalt pathway, although some sections utilize narrower sidewalks - fortunately, the city has marked the trail route on street signs to help users navigate. The latest addition, which opened in 2014, is a 1.3-mile section in southern Wilmington that connects to Wade Park. The 17-acre park offers scenic wetlands, a picnic shelter, a playground, and restrooms. On the opposite end of the trail, the northern terminus shares a route with the Summer Rest Trail, which features a nicely wooded path that ends at the waterfront.
The trail is primarily urban, so there are a number of restaurants, coffee shops, and two excellent bike shops along the route. The CCT also connects with the River-to-Sea Bikeway and Military Cutoff Trail, and is a part of the East Coast Greenway route across the entire seaboard.
Parking is available at Halyburton Park (4099 S. 17th Street), Empie Park (3405 Park Avenue), Anne McCrary Park (4000 Randall Parkway), and James E.L. Wade Park (3500 Bethel Road).
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