Carolina Beach State Park

This park is located on the Cape Fear River side of Pleasure Island. Despite the name, no part of this park is beach facing. Pleasure Island is just north of Bald Head Island and just south of Wilmington. Just below Carolina Beach is Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, the only beach facing NC State Park.

The park has several unique amenities and attractions. The most unique may be the presence of Venus Flytraps in the park. I was unable to locate any due to the time of year, but I have heard they are present in warmer months. You can also hike down to the river (which looks and behaves a lot more like a sound, not a river), with sandy "beach" access areas.

Hiking up the fifty foot high sugarloaf dune at the park is also possible. Important history surrounds the sugarloaf dune:

"As you stand on the summit, be aware of the dune’s historical significance: as far back as the early 1700s the dune was a pivotal landmark for seafarers looking for Wilmington, and during the Civil War the Confederacy used the dune to defend the port."


Carolina Beach also has brand new small camping cabins. I call them camping cabins because they are purely an upgrade from camping. They do not feature a bathroom, but they do have beds and electricity (including heat). They can fit six people- four on bunk beds and two on a double bed. I would definitely recommend trying them out.  They were great to stay in as a nice break from camping. The heat was nice to come back to on a chilly march evening.

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Carolina Beach State Park

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Carolina Beach State Park 34.044268, -77.904825