The best are in the eyes of the beholder. But here are a few that I like:
Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve, about 1 mile, depending on route chosen
Located on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus, this wildflower preserve is open to the public. Several trails within the park take you by different features including a pond and carniverous plant gardent. No pets allowed.
Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve, 15 trails to choose from
Although owned by the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve (pronounced: evin-wood) is open to the public. Among the preserve’s 174 acres you’ll find 15 distinct trails. Be sure to grab a map at the kiosk in the parking lot. No pets allowed. The Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve is at 6150 Rock Creek Road NE, Leland [Map this]. Phone: (910) 253-6066.
Carolina Beach State Park, 6 trails to choose from
Six miles of trails wind through a variety of distinct habitats at Carolina Beach State Park, 1010 State Park Road, Carolina Beach [Map this]. Choose from the Flytrap Trail, Sugarloaf Trail, Campground Trail, Snow’s Cut Trail, Swamp Trail, Oak Toe Trail. Pet friendly.
Boiling Spring Lakes Nature Preserve, 1.5 miles
This 1.5 mile trail is on the Boiling Spring Lakes Nature Preserve, a 5,000 acre preserve maintained by The Nature Conservancy. It’s on Leeds Road in Southport. The trail starts at the Boiling Spring Lakes Community Center. No pets allowed. Phone: (910) 845-3693
Green Swamp Preserve, 1.5 miles
Take a hike through this 15,907-acre preserve and observe some of the wildest wildlife in the area. You’ll find it about 5.5 miles north of the U.S. 17/N.C. 211 intersection on N.C. 211 No pets allowed.
You can find more trails at our Google Maps site.
Date posted: June 1, 2009
User-contributed question by:
Patrick, Hampstead, N.C.