Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Kure Beach

#4 of 8 in Things to do in Kure Beach
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is a 287acre North Carolina state park in New Hanover County, North Carolina in the United States. Located near Kure Beach, North Carolina, it includes Fort Fisher, site of a major naval engagement during the American Civil War. The recreation area also served as a home for the Fort Fisher Hermit, Robert Harrill. Harrill lived in a bunker and shared his beliefs about "common sense" with thousands of visitors every year while surviving on what he could gather from the surrounding salt marsh and oyster beds.
Today, the recreation area consists of the remains of the earthen Fort Fisher and a museum at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, an oceanfront beach pavilion, a large lagoon popular with windsurfers, and a long stretch of beach that is accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles. The beach is an important nesting ground for sea turtles, and state park rangers regularly patrol the beach to identify recently built turtle nests. Once they are identified, they are clearly marked and surrounded with a mesh fence to prevent vehicles from driving over the eggs. The openings in the mesh are large enough to allow newly hatched turtles to pass through and return to the sea.
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. The First Battle of Fort Fisher, during the American Civil War, was the largest naval bombardment and land-sea battle fought in any war up to that time.
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Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Reviews
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306 reviews
  • This is a quiet public beach offering free parking, easy access walk, seasonal lifeguards, restrooms, outdoor showers to rinse sand, small picnic area. If you have a four-wheel drive, you can obtain a...  more »
  • This is one of the best beach accessories areas we visited. No food vendors unless a food truck is there for a special event but they have a grill area. Nice sand with ramps a boardwalk from parking l...  more »
  • Terrific Beach with sugar sand and beautiful views! Bring your 4-wheel drive in order to get to the remotest parts. $20/vehicle/day during the week, $30/vehicle/day on the weekends. Obviously, the best days to go if you're looking for a little privacy is during the week. Dog friendly year round and open until 8:30pm. The rangers are so nice, but please please please follow their instructions so that you won't get your vehicle stick in the sand and so that we all may continue to enjoy this beautiful part of North Carolina!
  • We come here every year. The kids love coming and seeing the exhibits. The staff is always friendly and will patiently answer all of their questions.

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