Cape Fear River Trail
The trail is a 10-foot wide paved path for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and others utilizing non-motorized transportation. It winds for nearly 5.3 miles, one-way, through a beautiful blend of trees, plants and wildlife with spectacular views of the river. The terrain can be flat or slightly hilly. In addition to the wooden bridges, including one covered bridge, there is a 700-foot boardwalk through the marsh and wetlands near Clark Park and 365 additional feet of boardwalk in the newest section that opened in December, 2014.
Along the trail are interpretive signs explaining the wildlife and plant life found in the area. There are more than 700 species of plants and trees, and 150 species of birds. The River Trail area is also home to an unusual combination and diversity of hardwood trees. Frogs, lizards and turtles are common sights, with an occasional deer.
A trail head named in honor of Moses Mathis was constructed at the start of Phase 2B, located at Clark Park. A ribbon cutting for the Moses Mathis “Bicycle Man” Trail Head was held on December 16, 2014.
The trail is designated as part of the East Coast Greenway. The Greenway is a series of urban trails and greenways that will eventually connect from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida, similar to the Appalachian Trail.
Before You Go
- The trail is open 365 days a year from 8 am to dusk.
- Restrooms are located at the Jordan Soccer Complex and at the Clark Park Nature Center during Clark Park’s operating hours. Portalets are also located along the trail.
- Benches and tables are available to rest and enjoy the solitude.
- Security call boxes are provided intermittently along the trail for immediate emergency response.
- The trail is not a loop. It is 5.3 miles long, one-way. Plan your walk so that you will have transportation waiting where you finish.
- The trail is open for walking, jogging, bicycling and rollerblading and other non-motorized transport.
- Please respect private property and remain on the trail or within a designated trail area, such as an overlook.
- Trash should be placed in receptacles provided. Keep the trail beautiful.
- Pets must be leashed. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
- Some sections of the trail are steep and therefore hazardous. Bicyclists are to maintain speeds under 15 mph and yield to pedestrians. Carefully control your bike on slopes.
Information and Maps