Explore Wilmington

Brunswick Nature Park

Address: 2601 River Road (NC 133), Winnabow, NC 28479

On HWY 133 just outside of Leland, NC is Brunswick Nature Park, which was created in 2004 by the Coastal Land Trust and Brunswick County. The park is located on 912 acres of undeveloped land and has several trails for the family and possibly your family pet to enjoy. While there aren’t playgrounds and more than one picnic shelter, there are several trails along wetlands and in the woods, so mama – BRING THAT BUG SPRAY.

As stated above, there are several trails; however, since the park is ran by volunteers, the signage isn’t the best. No trails are marked with mile markers, but benches are provided along the way and the trails are clearly established. We took the “Dogwood” trail and it was about a 2 mile hike into easy terrain – up and down small hills. This particular trail began at the “overlook” area and ended on the main road into the park.

  • Parking: Yes, 2 gravel parking lots
  • Restrooms: Yes, available near the main parking lot
  • Stroller friendly: No

The large picnic shelter offers a grilling station and is fairly large with 5 picnic tables. Overall, this is a great nature park! You can launch canoes and kayaks, hike, mountain bike or simply go to the overlook and then walk back to your car, which is around .5 mile there and back.

A nature park fit for the adventurous family or open space for your kids to play outside. I hope you enjoy this nature park and be sure to tag @wilmingtonmom when you check it out.

Your Friend, Amanda
Explore Wilmington

Smith Creek Park

Address: 33 Shenandoah St, Wilmington, NC 28411

7. Smith Creek Park and Nature Preserve

Located off of Harris Road/Gordon Road in the Ogden area is Smith Creek Park and Smith Creek Nature Preserve. This park is slightly hidden and a nice surprise in midst of the hustle and bustle of the large neighborhoods on this side of town.

  • Parking: A large paved parking lot
  • Restrooms: Yes! Located near the parking lot and playground. Several stalls in the ladies room
  • Stroller Friendly: yes!

The large fresh water lake has a paved one-mile walking trail that wraps around it. The trail is wide enough for a stroller or two, making this a great place to walk with new mom friends. A large picnic shelter is located near the playground which has several of picnic tables and there are a few benches around the lake.

The lake is great for fishing or using the dock to launch a canoe or kayak, but no swimming allowed. If you are looking at the lake from the parking lot, the Nature Preserve is located to the left. An access area goes up a dirt hill to the preserve (so not ideal for strollers). Check out the link below to read about native plants and animals.

Fun fact: Funding for Smith Creek Park came from a half-million dollar grant from the North Carolina Parks & Recreation Trust Fund. The project was also supplemented by selling mined sand that was removed to create the lake. 

Click here for more details.

Smith Creek Park is the go-to place if I want to walk with friends and their babies. The trail is very wide and the area is just so pretty! Be sure to wear sunscreen as most of the trail is in the sunshine. Enjoy my friend!

Explore Wilmington

Summer Rest Trail

Address: 1981 Eastwood Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403 (Port City Chop House)

5. Summer Rest Trail

Take a stroll down this beautiful trail shaded with large trees and nice greenery. The trail is about .7 mile long (one way) and ends at the Wrightsville Beach Bridge. This trail is actually a small section of the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail and if you’d like you can continue walking over the bridge to Johnnie Mercer’s Pier or continue walking to the Wrightsville Beach Loop (as locals just say “The Loop”).

  • Parking: There are just a few parking spots reserved in the Port City Chop House parking lot
  • Restrooms: Not available
  • Stroller Friendly: yes!

The trail also passes by some beautiful homes that are just steps away from the Intracoastal Waterway. The homes themselves showcase large front porches, wooden swings, and large moss covered live oak trees. These homes embody true southern charm and are worth walking by.

Enjoy the views and remember that a girl can always dream, right?

Your Friend – Amanda