The Cape Fear region is blessed with a flat landscape and well-maintained roads, which makes touring the coastal plain by bicycle a pleasurable experience. The area offers a few dedicated bicycle lanes and trails, and designated bicycle routes link many of the region's most popular attractions. Of course, it is always advisable to be aware of sharing the road with motor vehicles and take all necessary safety precautions.
Local cyclists are enthusiastic about the new Cross-City Trail, a 20-mile, off-road, multi-use path providing bicycle and pedestrian access to five city parks, three elementary schools, UNCW, the Cameron Art Museum, three major shopping centers and Wrightsville Beach. The Cross-City Trail is a spine in a developing city-wide trails and greenways system which will make alternative transportation in Wilmington a safer, more convenient option for everyone. Several sections of the trail in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach are currently open to cyclists: James E. L. Wade Park (.6 mile), Halyburton Park (1.2 miles), the south side of Eastwood Road between Cardinal Drive and Military Cutoff (1.8 miles) and Summer Rest (.8 mile), South 17th Street between John D. Barry Drive and Museum Drive (.9 mile), Independence Boulevard between Museum Drive and Croquet Drive (.7 mile), Independence Boulevard between Converse Road and Randall Parkway (2.8 miles), and Randall Parkway between Independence Boulevard and South College Road (1.7 miles).
The on-road and off-road River-to-Sea Bikeway (WMPO Bicycle Route 1) stretches from Riverfront Park at the foot of Market Street in Wilmington to Johnny Mercer's Pier in Wrightsville Beach, a one-way stretch of more than 10 miles. The bikeway follows the route of the historic trolley line, which ran from downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach in the early twentieth century. Most of the bikeway follows quiet tree-lined residential streets. However, portions of the route are along on-road bicycle lanes and off-road multi-use paths, and there are a few busy roadway crossings. In the downtown area, the bikeway follows the Ann Street Bicycle Boulevard, the first of its kind in North Carolina. The bicycle boulevard gives priority to bicyclists along the corridor through the incorporation of traffic calming devices, special signs and pavement markings and high-tech bicycle and pedestrian crossings at major arterials. Please use caution and operate your bicycle according to North Carolina vehicular laws and regulations when riding on-road.