Onslow County is home to a number of beautiful outdoor areas—from forests and rivers to beaches and intercoastal waterways. With summer in full swing, it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy all that our region has to offer.
If you and your children enjoy a day at the beach, spend an afternoon or weekend leaving the mainland behind and entering vacation mode at North Topsail Beach. With two public access beaches, you’ll have plenty of space to sunbathe, build sandcastles, or play catch. North Topsail Beach is one of the best places to play and unwind in Onslow County.
Visit: There are three access points available.
1: 1795 New River Inlet Road
2: 2950 Island Drive
3: 484 New River Inlet Road
Although beach access is free, parking is not. If you decide to enjoy the beach, parking is $5/hour, $25/day, $100/week, or $250 for an annual fee.
With beautiful trails perfect for hiking and an educational visitor’s center that includes an interactive children’s exhibit, Hammocks Beach is a wonderful place for families to visit.
When you visit Hammocks Beach State Park, make sure to check out Bear Island: a four-mile-long undeveloped barrier island. It’s only accessible via the Park’s passenger ferry or, if you’re feeling adventurous, by canoe or kayak. Roundtrip tickets for the ferry cost $6 for adult passengers, $4 for child passengers between the age of 3 and 12, and $4 for all senior citizens 62 years or older. Children 2 years and younger ride for free. Learn more about ferry schedules and prices here.
Visit: 1572 Hammocks Beach Road, Swansboro, NC 28584
Located on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Onslow Beach is open to all authorized DoD ID cardholders with proper base access. If you’re a military family in Onslow County, this beach offers rental lodging units, an RV campground, pavilions, volleyball courts, and swimming areas.
Visit: Call (910) 440-7502 for more information.
If your children are old enough to enjoy a family bike ride, Onslow County offers miles and miles of beautiful trails—from downtown Jacksonville and stretching all the way to the coast.
Big Branch Bike Park: Located in Jacksonville, this park features a 1.6-mile flow trail and a 4.6-mile mountain bike trail. Although the mountain bike trail is best suited for intermediate bikers, the loop trails are perfect for all levels.
Rails to Trails Greenway: Perfect for beginners! This is a 6-mile trail through Jacksonville with no cars nearby.
Richlands Loop Trail: If you’re feeling bold and adventurous, Richlands Loop Trail offers a 50-mile and a 20-mile road loop through the rural coastal plains of Onslow County.
City-to-Sea Trail: See all that Onslow County has to offer with the City-to-Sea Trail, a 21-mile ride from Jacksonville to Hammocks Beach State Park.
Spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to enjoy all that Onslow County has to offer. From playgrounds and picnics to basketball courts and splash pads, the Onslow County Parks and Recreation Department maintains multiple family-friendly parks throughout the county.
Let us know how you and your family are spending time in nature this spring and summer! Follow One Place on social media to join the conversation.