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

Wrightsville Beach North End

1. Wrightsville Beach – The North End

Wrightsville Beach offers a lot of fun kid-friendly activities. If you like being outside, don’t mind a walk in the sand and are willing to pay for parking (~$3/hr | March 1 to October 31 from 9am to 7pm (with some enforced 9am – 8pm) then I recommend heading to the famous “Mailbox“.

  • Parking: Park in Public Beach Access # 2 (located next to Shell Island Resort)
  • Restrooms and a foot washing station are both available.
  • Stroller Friendly: No

Points of Interest:

  • The Wrightsville Beach Mailbox” has been a hidden gem on this stretch of the beach for many years. In 2003, locals Bernie and Sidney Nykanen placed a mailbox at their favorite spot on the North End of WB facing Figure 8 Island. They placed pens and a notebook in the mailbox to allow its’ visitors a spot to write down scriptures, favorite quotes, prayers, love letters or just a simple message. When I moved here in 2010, I remember walking the sandy mile walk with my new friends to this famous mailbox. We would write our names in the wrinkled, half soaked pages and take time to read what others had written. It’s always been a fun adventure. In 2018, during Hurricane Florence the mailbox was moved along with the many notebooks collected over the years to the Wrightsville Beach Museum. A new mailbox is now located in front of Shell Island Resort for a more prominent location for beach goers to access (the old location is now roped off for a bird sanctuary). Visit the mailbox with your kids and leave a note or message for someone else to discover.
  • View Figure Eight Island: Continue walking toward the North of the island, where on a clear day, you can glimpse over at the exclusive Figure Eight Island community. Only accessible by boat or over the private bridge, these million dollar homes are always impressive to see.
  • Dip in the water: During high-tide, a nice natural pool forms at the very tip of the island. Although the water is calm at this specific point, I don’t recommend allowing children to swim in the ocean (where waves appear) as the tides can be very strong and no lifeguards are on duty in this area.

Have fun and go enjoy the North End! One of my favorite places on Wrightsville Beach.

Your Friend – Amanda