While Wrightsville Beach is known as a hub for watersports and its iconic crystal blue waters, many adventures await on dry land. Get energized with walks through scenic marshes and pristine surroundings, and discover the perfect trail while exploring our active island. 

Fitness Adventures

Popular with walkers and runners, The Loop is the island's 2.5-mile paved fitness trail circling the heart of Wrightsville Beach. The trail winds its way along the Intracoastal Waterway, Banks Channel and salt marshes offering spectacular scenic views of our island. View a map of The Loop here. Select weekends throughout the year, you can also learn about the island’s history with the self-guided Loop Through History tour to explore stories, images and other historical tidbits through the unique signs that are placed along the pathway. While bikes are not allowed on the pedestrian pathway, you can rent wheels from local surf shops like The Shed WBNC, conveniently located along the trail, and bike alongside this scenic route.

The River to Sea Bikeway is an 11-mile on-and-off-road bike path that stretches from Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier to downtown Wilmington. The route follows the path of the Historic Beach Car Line, which used to carry vacationers to Wrightsville Beach by trolley. Follow along with this bike map.

Garden Walks

Discover native plants, flowers, art and fountains in Harbor Way Gardens, a 1-acre public garden located in the heart of Wrightsville Beach. Stroll through its pathways and relax under the shade of trees while admiring a variety of blooms, including one of North Carolina's only public displays of Witherspoon Roses.

Nearby Airlie Gardens is a coastal oasis with more than 67 acres of formal gardens and walking trails. Visitors can embark on a self-guided walking tour of the grounds, exploring more than a dozen gardens. Just over a quarter of a mile, the nature trail begins at the Tranquility Gardens and meanders alongside one of the site's lakes; use this map as your guide. On the second Wednesday of each month, Airlie Gardens hosts Bird Walks to discover diverse bird species and Tree Walks to learn about various tree species, both native and introduced, within the park. Advanced reservations are required for both events; tickets can be purchased through Airlie Gardens events page.

Nature Preserves

As the largest undisturbed barrier island ecosystem in southern North Carolina, Masonboro Island Reserve invites responsible exploration of its coastal habitats, tidal creeks and salt marshes. Anchor or paddle ashore on the sound side of the island, which is only accessible by boat. From there, follow the trails across the island to reach the ocean side, where you can hike along 8.4 miles of protected shoreline. Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours offers daily ferry trips to Masonboro Island at scheduled times throughout the day, allowing visitors to explore the reserve at their own pace.

Embrace the island’s active lifestyle and find your perfect trail in Wrightsville Beach, whether it's an adventure along a fitness trail, a leisurely stroll through local gardens or eco-exploration to undisturbed islands.