With Wilmington constantly growing, there has been increased traffic flow, leaving bicyclists and pedestrians fewer safe options. In an effort to encourage and develop alternative, safe, convenient and green options, Wilmington approved building the Cross City Trail. This trail will also become part of the East Coast Greenway, the “Urban Appalachian Trail” spanning from Florida to Maine. The final trail will be 20 miles from Wade Park to the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge.
Currently, 11 of 20 miles is completed; the final trail will be 8ft across to be used as a future bike and pedestrian path, providing access to recreational, cultural and educational destinations across Wilmington. While the trail is still under construction, a clear plan of development is in place and being implemented. The long term goal will connect Wade Park to Halyburton and Empie Park to the Heide Trask drawbridge (Wrightsville Beach) at the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Cross City Trail currently begins on S. 17th Street near the Pine Valley Cemetary, following S. 17th across Oleander drive, along Park Avenue to Empie Park. There is a break in the path until it resumes again at the intersection of S. 17th & S. College Rd, following along the perimeter of UNCW. The last piece of the trail is along Eastwood Road heading out towards Wrightsville Beach.
The first new section of the trail will be 0.85 miles from Halyburton Park to Museum Drive, with pedestrian crossings at George Anderson Drive and Museum Drive. This new section of the trail will be 2.8 miles, along Independence Boulevard from Converse Road to Randall Parkway including a bridge over Burnt Mill Creek, to the River to Sea Bikeway along Park Avenue. Once completed, this trail will span Wade Park to the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge in Wrightsville Beach.
While the trail connects parks, the beach and other amenities, it is also a hot spot for daily recreation and exercise. As such, the UNCW portion of the trail, approximately 2.9 miles long is already seeing lots of activity. The trail is intended for pedestrians, bicycles and wheelchairs. Other non-motorized means of mobility such as scooters and skateboards are expected. However, golf carts and motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited. Please note the Rules and Etiquette and abide by them so that all users can have a safe, enjoyable experience. This trail, as a whole or in short bursts, will be an asset to health and wellness in the Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach communities.
Find a map of the Wilmington NC Cross City Trail and the Rules of Etiquette here:
For more information, contact:
Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
P.O. Box 1810
Wilmington, N.C. 28402
As always, stay safe!
Kathy Bentz, Local Expert
A recently relocated New Englander, enjoying the sunshine, and still finding our way in Wilmington. Looking to become acquainted with the community, and using writing and photographs to record my adventures!!