Fort Fisher State Recreation Area (12-31-14)
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is located 20 or so miles south of Wilmington on a sandy spit of land between the Cape Fear River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The big attraction here is the beach, and the park has a lot of it...6-miles of unbroken sand which, in warmer months, draws folks here by the hundreds of thousands. Encompassing not quite 300 acres, Fort Fisher SRA doesn't offer a whole lot of opportunity for a hiker like myself to get his boots dirty (or, sandy as it were). One single walking trail leads from the Visitor Center 1.1 miles out to an overlook of the Cape Fear River.
Although short, the walk offered plenty to see. As this was the middle of winter, birds were everywhere...on the ponds, in the marshes, and in the trees. I had nature's music playing the entire trail. In addition to the wildlife, the plant life here is quite unique and interesting as well. The trail passes through two distinct ecosystems...the salt marsh dominated by sea oats and cord-grass (Spartina) as well as a remnant maritime forest of mixed, stunted, live oak, yaupon holly, and cedar. Oh, and did I mention the World War 2 bunker and its famous hermit? For only a 2-mile hike there was plenty to enjoy here...come along...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 33.964543, -77.922650
Hike Length: 2.2 miles Hike Duration: 1:15
Trailhead Temp: 50'F
Min. Elevation: 0' Max. Elevation: 7'
Trails Used (blaze color): Basin Trail (unblazed)