United States

Wilmington, NC

Our Guide to the Best Places to Run in Wilmington, NC

Flickr: James Wilamor

Wilmington is a port city in coastal southeastern North Carolina. It’s an increasingly popular visitor destination, known for its Riverwalk, and four beach communities within a half-hour drive. There’s a nice variety of running in Wilmington.

The best place to run in central Wilmington is along the Riverwalk and residential streets around the Historic District. Nearby is a nice loop around Greenfield Lake. We also enjoy running around the bucolic UNC Wilmington campus, which includes a section of the Cross City Trail and an optional loop around Long Leaf Park. For beach running, we love running on 4-mile Wrightsville Beach, and just south of there, Carolina Beach and the trails of Carolina Beach State Park.

Note that summers can be hot and humid. Run early or find a shady spot!

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Some of our favorite runs in Wilmington, NC

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Riverwalk and Historic District

Wilmington, NC

A lovely run and a way to explore Wilmington is to enjoy a jaunt along the Riverwalk and then the residential side streets of the city's Historic District. The wood-planked Riverwalk is 2 miles, and the residential streets have lovely older homes and a nice canopy.
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Greenfield Lake

Wilmington, NC

One of our favorite runs in Wilmington. The lake is located just south of the Historic District, and features a 4.5 mile combination of roads and paths around its circumference. The area is quite park-like, with a lovely canopy of pines and Spanish moss.
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Wrightsville Beach

Wilmington, NC

A great beach for running, located just east of downtown Wilmington. The popular beach is ~4 miles long and and known for its surf. Quite wide, with firm, compact sand, though surf and tidally dependent.
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Carolina Beach State Park & Beach

Wilmington, NC

Terrific spot for running only 20 minutes south of Wilmington. 9 miles of trails. with a mix of wooded and open terrain, with views to marshes, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Cape Fear River. Just east is miles of wonderful beach running on Carolina Beach.
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Riverwalk and Historic District

Wilmington, NC

A lovely run and a way to explore Wilmington is to enjoy a jaunt along the Riverwalk and then the residential side streets of the city's Historic District. The wood-planked Riverwalk is 2 miles, and the residential streets have lovely older homes and a nice canopy.
Explore

Wilmington has hot, humid summers and mild winters. Runners should be aware that daytime temps from June to September average in the mid-80s to near 90F (28-32C), with sultry nights. Plan accordingly – go early and hydrate! Winters are mild, with daytime temps in the mid-50s (13C), and nights just above freezing. Rainfall is abundant throughout the year, though more in the form of thunderstorms and downpours in summer.

The signature running store in Wilmington is a location of Fleet Feet. They also sponsor numerous local running events and have group runs Thursdays at 6pm.

Runners can also fund gear at Omega Sports and and an outlet of New Balance.

Here’s a calendar of local races and running events, courtesy of Go Time.