With the warm pleasant weather of spring easing in, the great outdoors beckon. While long road trips and timely travel plans may not be an option for busy college students, there are several parks in the Wilmington area that offer an escape from campus life. Whether you are interested in hiking, camping, or simply finding somewhere new to hang a hammock, you have several options that are just a short drive away. More information about the following parks as well as others across the state can be found here.
Carolina Beach State Park
Carolina Beach State Park offers plenty of stress relieving outdoor activities. With 83 campsites strewn through a peaceful wooded surrounding, you can feel the salty breeze while enjoying the privacy of a small pine tree forest. Each site also has picnic table and grill which could make for the perfect hamburger and hot dog filled afternoon.
Also, with over 6 miles of sandy hiking trails, Carolina Beach State park offers a nice place for peaceful day hikes. The longest trail, Sugarloaf Trail, is a 3 mile long one- way trail that runs along the Cape Fear river beside marshes and through pine forests. With scenic views of the river and opportunities to see wildlife including a variety of birds and fiddler crabs, hikes such as these can provide a beautiful stress relieving day when schoolwork gets to be to much.
Greenfield Lake Park and Gardens
Spanning 250 acres, Greenfield Lake Park and Gardens offers a breath taking array of scenery surrounding Greenfield Lake. Featuring a 5 mile paved trail that circles the lake, visitors can see displays of well maintained landscaping and gardens mixed in with the natural vegetation to create picturesque views. Wildlife can also be seen along the trail, as it is common to see alligators and turtles lazing about the lake.
If taking a walk doesn’t sound like enough, there are also canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats that can be rented by the hour allowing for more thorough exploration of the water. There is also a skate park for thrill seekers, as well as grills and picnic areas for those looking for a peaceful place to grill out with friends.
Hugh Macrae Park
While smaller than the other two parks, Hugh Macrae Park is very close to campus and still offers an off campus place to relax and enjoy the warm weather. With a short scenic walk around a well landscaped pond and picnic tables near grills, it offers a simple yet relaxing retreat. It also holds open fields, tennis courts, and baseball fields for pick up sports. It’s a nice place to stop by when you want to just hang out with friends or need to escape for just a moment.
-Lane, Austin and Allen