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Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

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Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
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Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
Copyright: - North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
Description - 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.

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).

Location - 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.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Martha Reed (Myrtle Beach, , SC)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Of all the "tourist spots" I've visited, this out of the way location was by far the most interesting--and presented abundant wildlife and serenity. I can certainly understand why the "hermit" lived here. The book about his is a must read!

Filed By: Robert Long (Los Angeles, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The hermit's bunker at Fort Fisher, NC was the most interesting place I've ever been. The hermit, Robert Harrill, seemed to enjoy being a hermit. His home was very crowded with visitors. Always wondered why he became a hermit. His life would probably make a great movie! I heard he was murdered for his land.

Filed By: MIke Edwards (Wilmington, NC)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I love to visit the hermit's bunker by the marsh at Fort Fisher. He was the most interesting tourist attraction in the area from 1955-his 'mysterious' death in the summer of 1972. Don't miss it! (Take some bug spray)

More Information

Contact Information:
Forst Fisher State Recreation Area, P.O. Box 243 , Kure Beach, , 28449, Phone: 910-458-5798, Fax: 910-458-3722
, cabestpk@isaac.net

Additional Information:
Coastal Region - Throughout history, the coastal regions of the globe have been major attractions. North Carolina's Coastal Region is no different. With its mild climate, this beautiful eastern region of the state entertains millions of guests all year.
North Carolina State Parks - North Carolina's State Parks offer wonderful beach camping to mountain wilderness camping. There are hiking trails in all sorts of forest types and countless fishing opportunities. The entire state, from the mountain to the piedmont area to the coast is rich in history and well highlighted at the parks.
Wilmington Area - Wilmington is located in the southeastern corner of North Carolina between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the cultural, medical, educational and economic center of this region and known for its historic preservation and close proximity to area beaches.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area - Official agency Website


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