Fun Places to Go In and Around Wilmington on Your Dogs’ Day Off

by seacoast_ashley 24. March 2015 03:47


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Empie Park

This is my favorite pooch place in Wilmington. The dog park is large and located right near the front of Empie. Two acres are divided up by chain fencing to separate the dogs by size. There is one area specifically for dogs under 20 pounds. The park is well-maintained. Empie is a great park for humans too! It boasts one of the best playgrounds, tennis courts, walking trails, and picnic areas. As Wilmington’s first off-leash park Empie has proven to be a huge success. There are always furry friends enjoying the dog park.

This is the link with the list of rules for Empie Dog Park (and I believe all New Hanover Dog parks):

http://bit.ly/1tKcHzL


Ogden Dog Park

Another dog park that satisfies both human and dog friends is Ogden Dog Park. Ogden Park is on the newer side. The only complaint that regulars have is the sand in the dog area. Some dogs have gotten sand spurs in their paws, and we know that cleaning sand out of dog fur is a never ending process.  But, as a human living at the coast, I have come to know two things quite well...sand and sand spurs! Ogden park offers a great walking trail, good playground for the kids, and covered picnic areas. Ogden Park is currently raising money for a new skate park! As the Ogden area grows I expect that this park will gain popularity pretty fast.


Hugh Macrae Dog Park

Hugh Macrae Dog Park is set up much the same as Ogden and Empie. There are both small and large dog areas. Because Hugh Macrae is so large and popular with Wilmington residents, this dog park tends to be a bit busier than the others. If you are looking to meet a human dog-loving friend, this might be the park for you. With the larger crowds here, it is important to watch your dog a little more closely. This park does have more grass than Ogden Dog Park, so there is a slightly lower risk of sand spurs.


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Oak Island

The beach at Oak Island is not a dog park, but is a great place for you and your dog to run! Oak Island allows for leashed pets on the beach year round. They do require a leash from March 15 - October 15 (peak tourist season). A day trip to Oak Island is easily accomplished as there is ample free parking on the island, most beach accesses are equipped with waste baggies and waste receptacles, and it is only 30 minutes away from downtown Wilmington. I often find it easier to shoot down to Oak Island than to battle parking at Wrightsville. Bonus, I get to take my dog!


Abbey Nature Preserve at Poplar Grove

If you are looking to exercise yourself as well as your pooch, the Abbey Trails might be the thing to do. The trails are dog-friendly and are often used by pet owners. The trail is 2.4 miles long with a beautiful pond located at its end. You will want to bring your pets water, etc. with you. This trail is easy to hike but will most likely take over an hour. At my last visit there were no rules posted. Many people have dogs off-leash, so be aware that you may have overly excited company! You may want to check the Poplar Grove calendar (its located http://www.poplargrove.org/). Some events are extremely popular and people often take to the trail while visiting Poplar Grove.



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