Monday, April 23, 2012

Cross City Trail, Wilmington NC

The Cross City Trail in Wilmington NC is nearing completion.  This is an off-road, multi-use trail that provides a safe biking and pedestrian route from Summer Rest Road near the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge through Wilmington parks and destinations including Halyburton and Empie Parks as well as UNCW campus.  Much of it is currently completed although there are a few sections that are planned as future parts of the trail.

This map of the Gary Shell Cross City Trail shows the completed sections as well as the future plans for pathway.  The existing sections are really nice, wide, safe paved paths that tour through the city and some of our parks.  Halyburton Park already had a 1.3 mile walking/running/biking trail around the park and the Cross City Trail links up beautifully with that one.  Empie Park recently added a paved trail around the park and it now fits in really well with the Cross City Trail.  Soon it will extend to Wade Park which also has a nice walking/biking path.

I think this trail is a really important addition to our city.  The parts that are already finished are wonderful.  Some of the unfinished portions include dangerous intersections and roadways for pedestrians and leave Cross City Trail riders sort of stranded.  I'm eagerly anticipating the completion of these parts.

Learn more at and connect with them here:


  1. Biggest challenge we had on the trail... finding a place to park so that we could get out and walk. We were back and forth and up and down around UNCW to find a place to park anywhere near the trail. Not being local, we were clueless about what to do. We later found some parking around Halyburton, but that's pretty limiting.

  2. Hi Nat - That's a really good point. Parking can be a challenge, especially while the trail is still broken up. The City of Wilmington website says there's parking for the Cross City Trail at Halyburton, Empie Park, and McCrary Park at the 3300 block of Randall Parkway (between Independence Blvd & Kerr Avenue). We usually jump on the trail from one of the parks so I hadn't tried out any other parking spots. Empie might be your best bet to catch the biggest part of the finished trail. Hope you had a great visit to Wilmington!

  3. Thank you for the information and the map. This is a great blog :-)

  4. We're from DC, where public parking can be awful and time constrained, but it exists. It was so unexpected that there would be so little street parking in the newer sections of Wilmington. It feels like you can't just leave your car someplace and shuttle around on foot, which is too bad for a pretty pedestrian-friendly town.

    BTW, thanks for the postings- I've been lurking for a while and have enjoyed the info.

  5. Thanks Nat and Serioga! And, Nat, I think you're right. Downtown Wilmington is really great for parking and exploring. It's fun to get off the Riverfront and walk around the neighborhoods, too. The beach towns (Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach) are also good for that. With everything in between, it does seem like you have to have a specific destination to go to - mostly shopping centers but there are some good parks and trails, too. Thanks again and I'll have to contact you when we plan a trip to DC!