- The city of Wilmington on the Cape Fear River was an important port of entry for the Confederacy during the Civil War and by late 1864, it was the last southern port open to trade. Fort Fisher, built in 1861, served to protect this valuable port from Union ships. In 1864, the first of two Union attacks on Fort Fisher took place. The fort held strong during the first battle, and Union forces withdrew; but the confederacy was not so fortunate the next time. In early 1865, a fleet of 56 ships bombarded the fort prior to land assault by a force of more than 3,300 infantry. Fort Fisher was captured and the Confederate supply line broken. Approximately three months after the fall of Fort Fisher, the Civil War came to an end.
Copyright: - North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
It would be difficult to find an area on the North Carolina coast with a greater variety of maritime habitats than Fort Fisher. The look of the land constantly changes. The oceans teems with life from microscopic plankton to fishermen's favorites such as mackerel and striped bass. The maritime forests, sandy ocean and beautiful sound create a truly wonderful vacation environment.
Park Hours: November-February 8 am-6 pm; March, October 8 am - 7 pm; April, May, September 8 am - 8 pm; June-August 8 am - 9 pm. Office hours: 8 am-5 pm daily. The park is closed Christmas Day.
Recreation - Spend the day away from the crowds on a 4 mile stretch of undeveloped beach where shell-seekers still land treasures and nesting loggerhead sea turtles still find seclusion. Watch pelicans and other colonial nesting birds swirl and turn with the wind and waves. Swimming and fishing are probably the two favorite activities at this park. There are also a few short trails offering wonderful views of salt-marshes.
Take a break from the salt and the sand. A seaside changing facility and refreshment stand are operated June through Labor Day along the boardwalk. A museum depicting local Civil War events is just up the road in addition to an exhibit building offering sites of shipwreck artifacts.
Licensed four-wheel drive vehicles may travel on the beach in designated areas for access to excellent surf fishing. Gate will close at 7:00 pm on the following dates: May 29-31, June 27-29, July 27-29 and August 25-27. (These are periods around a full moon, which is prime for sea turtle nesting.) Contact the park office for assistance in gaining access to the beach.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures range from 40 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 7 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures range from 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 27 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 48-52 inches (122-132 centimeters).
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is located in New Hanover County, five miles south of Carolina Beach off US 421. It may also be reached from Brunswick County via the Southport-Fort Fisher ferry, which crosses the Cape Fear River.