Wilmington, NC, boasts several convenient boat ramps and launches that cater to watercraft up to about 50 feet in length. As the local population grows, it is becoming more and more difficult to get a spot at a local boat ramp. With that said there several conveniently located boat ramps that provide easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway and the beaches. Popular locations like the Wrightsville Beach Causeway and Trails End Park offer well-maintained ramps for various watercraft, making the waterways accessible for those that don’t live on the water.
The Wrightsville Beach Causeway boat ramp boasts 72 parking spaces and multiple launching lanes, providing direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s important to note that parking spaces fill up quickly, especially on weekends during the summer, so arriving early is advisable. The local waters offer a serene kayaking experience, allowing paddlers to enjoy picturesque views of Wrightsville Beach. Conveniently located adjacent to the bridge, the Wrightsville Beach Causeway is easily accessible for both Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach visitors, making it an ideal destination for paddlers, mariners, and anyone seeking a unique on-the-water perspective.
Nestled along Masonboro Loop Road, Trails End Park offers picturesque views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the nearby Masonboro Island Coastal Reserve. Boasting a boat ramp suitable for kayaks and vessels up to 22 feet, as well as a fishing pier extending into the brackish waters, the park provides a serene waterfront experience. Surrounded by saltmarshes and ICW, it’s a haven for birdwatchers and those seeking a tranquil waterfront vista. Tucked away but rich in scenery, Trails End Park captures the essence of Wilmington’s laid-back waterfront ambiance.
Carolina Beach State Park offers six miles of easily traversable hiking trails, showcasing diverse ecosystems. Along the Cape Fear riverbanks, visitors can enjoy exceptional fishing from a wheelchair-accessible deck, while the water-bound borders provide excellent kayaking and boating opportunities. The park features a marina with two launching ramps, 53 boat slips, fuel, and showers at the Snow’s Cut and Cape Fear River intersection. A picturesque picnic spot with shaded live oaks, tables, and grills is conveniently located near water, restrooms, and parking for a delightful outdoor experience.
Zeke’s Island Reserve is conveniently accessible for Cape Fear area visitors by traveling south on US 421 from Wilmington to the tip of Federal Point. A public boat ramp, managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, is available for explorers. Additionally, the New Hanover County Parks and Recreation Department provides a pedestrian beach facility and a nearby vehicular dune crossover, close to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, catering to walkers, hikers, and beachgoers.