Wilmington, North Carolina offers acres of lush green spaces for outdoor activity. Public parks offer more than swings-sets and picnic tables. Manicured walking and jogging paths, sports courts, organized recreational leagues and even a dog park are available inside the city limits. Outdoor nature programs for children occur during warm weather months in Wilmington. Picnic shelters can be reserved for private functions by contacting the City of Wilmington Community Services Department. Parks which permit pets require them to be on a leash at all times.
Riverfront Park is located on Market Street adjacent to the Cape Fear River. The park is a hub of activity during warm weather months and features a boat dock and information booth offering brochures about Wilmington attractions. Amenities at the park include multiple picnic shelters, walking paths and public restrooms. Special events often occur at the park, organized by local community groups. During the months of May through September the Downtown Sundown Concert Series takes place at the park. The park walkway leads to multiple waterfront restaurants and the Wilmington Riverwalk.
Empie Dog Park is an off-leash enclosed two acre complex designed with “Man’s Best Friend” in mind. The two acre park is located at 3405 Park Avenue. The Wilmington Dog Park Committee oversees operations at Wilmington’s first, and as of 2010, only off-leash area for the four-legged set. Dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their pets. Dogs utilizing the park should have a valid dog tag, be non-aggressive and be up to date on all of their shot. Picnic tables and pet waste stations are also available. There is no fee to visit the dog park, which is located adjacent to Empie Park.
Empie Park is located along the 3300 block of Park Avenue. The park offers 33 acres of outdoor recreational space which includes lighted sports courts, shelter houses, picnic areas, a concession stand, handicap accessible playground structures, athletic fields and lighted rest rooms.
Halyburton Park is situated on a little over one acre and is handicap accessible. The park features multiple picnic shelters and a community building. The community building can be rented for private functions and is also used for school field trips and nature programs and learning camps for children. Exploring nature at Halyburton Park often means visits from native North Carolina wildlife. Children get he opportunity to meet young alligators, lizards, snakes and go “creeking” with a net to discover what lives below the surface. Yoga and Pilates classes are conducted inside the community building in ten week sessions year around. Class participants must bring their own yoga mat to class. Playground structures are handicap accessible. Halyburton Park is located at 4099 S. Seventeenth Street.
Archie Blue Community Park at Love Grove features a multitude of sports courts and outdoor recreation areas. The park is named after a local resident who spent his life mentoring and teaching the children of Wilmington. Visitors to the park can launch a canoe, shoot some hoops or enjoy a romantic lunch at a picnic shelter. The six and a half acre park is located in downtown Wilmington, within walking distance of riverfront restaurants and historic buildings. The park is located at 1306 Stanley Street.
Robert Strange Park, located along Eighth and Ann Streets is a fifteen acre park with a multitude of outdoor recreational offerings. A public swimming pool is open during warm weather months, and charges a nominal fee for admittance. Additional park amenities include shelter houses, lighted sports courts, picnic areas, public restrooms, handicap accessible playground equipment, athletic fields and a concession stand.
Greenfield Park is located along Shipyard Boulevard and is 250 acres of green space. This park features a mutli-purpose trail, an ampitheater, lighted sports courts, concession stand, lighted shelter houses and picnic areas, charcoal grills, bicycle path and a nature trail. For a nominal fee park visitors can rent a paddle boat, canoe or strap on a pair of show off their skills at the Grind Skate Park.
Northside Park is a five acre complex on Bess Street. Amenities at this Wilmington park include a public swimming pool, picnic areas, basketball courts and handicap accessible playground structures. A nominal fee is charged to enter the public swimming pool.
Beaumont Park, located on Wayne Drive offers multiple handicap accessible playground structures, a picnic area and a basketball court.
Anne McCrary Park, located on Randall Parkway is a 42 acre complex complete with multiple shelter houses, garden walkways, hiking trails and pet waste stations.
Claude Howell Park on Water Street is a tenth of an acre green space with a picnic areas and flowered walkways.
Cameron Park, located on Southern Boulevard is a three acre public space with basketball and tennis courts, handicap accessible playground equipment, lighted shelter houses, water fountains and picnic areas.
Davis Tree Park is located on Castle Street and offers a tenth of an acre open green space and flower beds.
Godwin Field Stadium is a six acre park located along Shipyard Boulevard. This Wilmington park features picnic areas, a concession stand, lighted baseball fields, restrooms and multiple shelter houses.
Church and Nun Park, located on the streets by the same name offers a half an acre green space with picnic areas.
Hemenway Park, located on North Fifth Street offers one acre of green space, lighted sorts courts, a picnic area and handicap accessible playground equipment.
Maides Park on Manley Avenue is a 15 acre complex with lighted basketball and tennis courts, picnic areas, multiple shelter houses, handicap accessible playground equipment and an indoor recreation center.