Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River, the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area features six miles of beautiful beaches and multiple winding trails through salt marshes. The park is teeming with wildlife, creating unique viewing opportunities, including the chance to see loggerhead sea turtles and a variety of birds. The 287-acre state park was the site of a major naval conflict during the American Civil War, and today houses a museum, an aquarium, and the remains of Fort Fisher. Best of all is the pawrific beach which is dog-friendly!
The beach is open for pedestrian access 24 hours a day. Your dog is going to love playing in the sand and splashing in the water here, just be sure to keep that leash on at all times. There is a lifeguard at the designated swim area between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Note that swimming is prohibited during “red flag” or severe conditions. For added convenience, beach wheelchairs are available on a first come, first serve basis between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm at the visitor center office. You will also find picnic tables dotting the beach and surrounding area, many of which have grills.
The beach at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is an important nesting spot for sea turtles. If you spot a nest or any turtles, be sure you and your dog give them plenty of space. A large lagoon is pupular with windsurfers, and there is also a stretch of beach that is only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles during certain times of the year. A boat launch is nearby if you'd prefer to be on the water. Fishing is also allowed on the pedestrian and four-wheel drive beaches, just be sure to grab a license before you cast a line. Ocean catches include bluefish, red drum, speckled trout, pompano, and Virginia mullet.
If you have a hiker on your hands, the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area has excellent hiking trails. You can find a map of the trails online.
Ensure a fun and safe day in the sun and sand by bringing all the needed essentials. This should include water to share with your pup, and clean-up bags. Keep this beach dog-friendly by always picking up whatever your dog lays down.
If you’re looking for a beachy spot in Eastern North Carolina to enjoy the sun and sights, bring your pup and family to the furtastic Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.