Explore the Outdoors

Boats on the New River

Get on the Water

The New River features some of the best paddling and fishing in eastern North Carolina year-round. The slow current is ideal for kayakers and canoers of any skill level. There are multiple public water access areas in Jacksonville. Jacksonville Landing is located in the downtown area and features three boat launches and a beach area for launching canoes and kayaks. Also at the Landing is a great fishing pier for those who want to enjoy the river without getting on the water. Jacksonville Landing is located between two bridges at 135 S Marine Boulevard in downtown Jacksonville.

The Riverwalk Marina, located at 15 Kerr St, is a great place to take in the views or launch your kayak or canoe.

For launching on smaller waterways, visit Northeast Creek Park at 910 Corbin Street. Northeast Creek is a tributary to the New River.

Kayak Tours and More

Take a guided tour with Paddle NC at Hammocks Beach State Park. Paddle NC offers both kayak and stand up paddle board tours of unspoiled waterways teeming with wildlife. Paddle NC has trained instructors and offers high quality equipment for rental. There is no need to bring any gear -- they have everything needed for a kayak or stand up paddle board trip on the water. Visit PaddleNC.com to book a tour today or to find out more.

If a boat is more your speed, the ferry at Hammocks Beach State Park runs Spring through November. Check the schedule for dates and hours. If the ferry isn’t running, or if you’d like a private tour, Marsh Cruises visits Bear Island for shelling and tours. 

Bear Island-Hammocks Beach State Park

Plan a Beach Day!

Jacksonville is conveniently located a 20-30 minute drive to beaches north or south of the city. Stay and dine in affordable Jacksonville and day trip to Emerald Isle, Bear Island, or North Topsail Beach. Are you visiting someone aboard Camp Lejeune? Ask them to take you to take you for a beach day at Onslow Beach.

Biking the Trails

Explore the Trails & Greenways

Many parks in Jacksonville provide both water access and access to our trail system. Bring a bike or comfortable walking shoes to explore more than 20 miles of trails and greenways. Jacksonville Trails and Greenways wind through City parks, memorials, waterfront and other places of interest. Jacksonville has 5.2 miles of the national Rails-to-Trails route included in our Trails and Greenways. The Pedestrian Bridge that crosses over Lejeune Blvd at near Bell Fork Rd connects the Rails-to-Trails in the City and at MCB Camp Lejeune.

2023-Trails and Greenway in Jacksonville NC

Trail Rules 

  • No littering. 
  • Unauthorized motor vehicles are prohibited. 
  • Stay to the right. 
  • Bicyclists must yield to runners and both must yield to walkers. 
  • Pets must be on a leash not to exceed 6 feet and owners are responsible.