There’s no better way to spend some quality time with your four-legged friend than a walk, stroll, job or run.

Lucky for you and your furry friend, Wilmington is a dog-friendly place with many trail and route options that can accommodate you and your pup.

From wooded paths to river walks to city strolls to beach runs to Intracoastal trails – you’re sure to find the perfect spot to get some exercise and enjoy the area’s stunning views.

Here are five Wilmington trails to Visit

1. River to Sea Bikeway and Cross City Trail

The River to the Sea Bikeway follows the roadway that Wilmington’s locals and visitors use to access the downtown Riverwalk area and Wrightsville Beach. It is approximately 11 miles and features on-road and off-road paths. It crosses a variety of areas including trails, roadways and residential streets. All dogs must be leashed at all times. This is a great choice for those looking for a long, flat walk. Dog must be on a leash.

If you want off-road, the Cross City Trail is the way to go. It features 15 miles of multi-use trails that transverse through Wade Park, Halyburton Park and Empie Park and then on to the Heide-Trask Drawbridge the spans the Intracoastal Waterway. The trail is bicycle friendly, pedestrian friendly, and leashed dog friendly.

Learn more at

2. Riverwalk

Enjoy lovely views of the river with your pup as you stroll the Riverwalk. Located in historic Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, it features almost 2 miles of paved, decked or bricked surface running along the Cape Fear River. Leashed dogs are welcome to walk with you from Nun Street to the Isabel Holmes Bridge. Many cafes and restaurants along the route are dog friendly too.

Visit Riverwalk Website

3. Carolina Beach

There’s many choices for your furry friend in Carolina Beach but you’ll need to take notice of the regulations:

  • April 1 – September 30th, leashed dogs are allowed on Carolina Beach BEFORE 9am and AFTER 5pm.
  • October 1 – March 31, leashed dogs are allowed on Carolina Beach during all hours.

The Freeman Park Recreation Area are allowed to run off the leash from Oct 1 – March 31, and on a leash April 1 – September 30.

Another option is Carolina Beach State Park which features hiking trails that wind through woods, river shoreline, and even Venus flytrap habitats. The 761 acre park includes 7 nature trails that are dog friendly as long as your four-legged friends are leashed.

Visit Caroline Beach State Park Website

4. Fort Fisher to Bald Head Island

For a long walk over unspoiled beach, the Fort Fisher to Bald Head Island route is a stunning option – but best only for those who are able to handle the remote location and lack of amenities. It is an (out and back) 17.6 mile walk along the shore and is usually sparsely populated. Due to the lack of facilities and water, it is considered a hard walk that will require multiple bottles of water, as well as sun and wind protection.

5. Snow’s Cut

Snow’s Cut isn’t just known as the fictional dividing line between the Kooks and the Pogues from the hit TV series Outer Banks. The park, which was established in 1929, lies between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Cape Fear River. It’s about one mile path that is open for walker, bikers, runners – and leashed dogs. Look for the trail near the picnic area and then follow it along the water and through the pine forest. You and your pup will enjoy gorgeous views and shady trails.

Visit Website


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here