Carolina Beach State Park has some of the best access to the waterways in the area and you don’t necessarily need a boat to get there, you can drive your car, or ride your bike.
The Park is located off Dow Road in Carolina Beach, where the Intracoastal Waterway comes through Snow’s Cut and meets the Cape Fear River. As the tide rises you can see the tidal line of green water from the Atlantic Ocean pushing against the tea colored water of the Cape Fear right from the banks.
There are several unique things to explore and enjoy at the Park.
There are six miles of trails to hike through several distinct marine habitats.
The Snow’s Cut Trail wanders through the canopy of a maritime forest along the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Sugarloaf trail takes you along the Cape Fear River before ascending to the top of the Sugarloaf Dune for an unbelievable panorama of the river.
The Venus Fly Trap Trail is probably the most unique in the Park as you can see the carnivorous (meat eating) Venus Fly Trap in its natural environment.
Fishing from the banks of the Park can yield Flounder, Red Drum, Speckled Trout, and Striped Bass. Catching trophy-sized fish here is not uncommon, in fact it is a favorite hot spot for local anglers, including handicapped anglers.
The Park has a beautiful new Visitors Center with several interpretive exhibits, a full service Marina that is a very popular stop with boaters traveling the Intracoastal Waterway and offers excellent camping facilities.
The Park is open from 8:00am until just after sunset every day except Christmas.