Southeastern North Carolina Beach Access Rules for Dogs

By Judy Royal

If you’re in the market for Wilmington NC real estate or you just want to take a vacation in the area, there’s a good chance you might be factoring a four-legged family member into your plans, as pet ownership is steadily on the rise; 65 percent of U.S. households, or about 79.7 million, own a pet, according to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, an increase from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted.

While you’ll find a variety of pet types in American homes, the most common are dogs and cats. Cats can settle into (and, let’s face it, take over) practically any dwelling space and be perfectly content with never venturing beyond the walls of your residence. Dogs, however, are the pets you’ll be most likely to take on excursions with you. Southeastern North Carolina, with its numerous public beaches, is a prime location for an interactive adventure with your canine companion.

Before you pack up the pooch and embark on such an excursion, though, there are some things you need to know. It’s not a Fido free-for-all out there. Each beach has various rules (and hefty fines for those who don’t comply) so people and animals can live in harmony while enjoying fun in the sun. But no matter where you are, keep your dogs off the dunes and be sure to bring plenty of poop bags – and use them – so your furry pal doesn’t leave behind any unwanted surprises.

New Hanover County

Carolina Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the municipal beach strand anytime October 1-March 31 and only between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. April 1-September 30. Town Council recently voted on the latter, making its municipal beach strand the only one in New Hanover County to allow dogs during peak tourism months, even with restricted hours.

Freeman Park, however, located off the municipal beach strand on the north end of Pleasure Island, has the following rules: Leashed dogs are allowed year-round during all hours. They may be unleashed and under voice control October 1-March 31 if the owner is within a reasonable distance.

Kure Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the municipal beach strand anytime October 1-March 1. They are not allowed at all April 1- September 30.

Fort Fisher State Recreation, however, located off the municipal beach strand on the south end of Pleasure Island, has the following rules: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach year-round during all hours.

Wrightsville Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach anytime October 1-March 1. They are not allowed at all April 1- September 30.

Masonboro Island, however, located across the rock jetty just south of Wrightsville Beach and accessible only by boat, has the following rules: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach year-round during all hours.

Brunswick County

Bald Head Island: Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round during all hours. They must be on a leash from sunset to sunrise during sea turtle nesting season, which is May 1-November 15. They may be unleashed and under voice control at other times.

Caswell Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach year-round during all hours. They may be unleashed and under voice control year-round from dawn until 9 a.m. and additionally October 1-April 30 from 3 p.m. until dark.

Holden Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach anytime September 11-May 19 and only between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. May 20-September 10.

Oak Island: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach year-round during all hours. They may be unleashed and under voice control October 16-March 15 between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. in locations with the rule indicated on beach access signs.

Ocean Isle Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach anytime Labor Day-Memorial Day and only between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. Memorial Day-Labor Day.

Sunset Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach anytime from the day after Labor Day-the Thursday preceding Memorial Day and only between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. from the Friday preceding Memorial Day-Labor Day.

Pender County

Surf City: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach year-round during all hours.

Topsail Beach: Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach year-round during all hours. They may be unleashed and under voice control October 1-May 14.

Whether or not you have pets, Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 12 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island. Let us know how we can make your home or vacation dreams come true!

 


June Area Events

6/1, 8, 15, 22, and 29: Sunset Beach Concerts – Village Park, Sunset Beach

6/2, 9, 16, 23, and 30: Fireworks By the Sea & Boardwalk Blast – Boardwalk at the Gazebo, Carolina Beach

6/3 and 17: Airlie Gardens Concert Series – Airlie Gardens

6/3, 10, 17, and 24: Downtown Sundown Concert – Princess & Water, Downtown Wilmington

6/3, 10, 17, and 24: Oak Island Summer Concerts – Middleton Park Soccer Field, Oak Island

6/3, 10, 17, and 24: Ocean Isle Beach Concerts – Museum of Coastal Carolina, Ocean Isle Beach

6/3:  SOJA with special guest Allen Stone – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

6/3-4 Fisherman’s Post Ocean Isle Inshore Challenge, Ocean Isle Beach

6/4: 31st Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival – Carolina Beach

6/5-6/12: Port City Music Festival Various Venues

6/5, 19: Boogie in the Park Series – Ocean Front Park, Kure Beach

6/5, 12, 19, 26: Holden Beach Concerts – Holden Beach Pavilion, Holden Beach

6/6-7: Cape Fear BBQ Festival – Old River Farms, Burgaw

6/7, 21, 25: Calabash Concert Series – Calabash

6/7, 21, 28: Calabash Concert Series – Calabash Town Park, Calabash

6/8:  The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

6/9, 23: Leland Concerts on the Coast – Leland Municipal Park, Leland

6/9:  Jazz at the Mansion – A Concert Series – Bellamy Mansion

6/10: Annual Bank Bridge to Bridge 4.0 – Wilmington

6/11: Art Moves Midtown 5K & Minnie’s Mile Fun Run, Wilmington

6/15-19: Jolly Mon King Classic – Ocean Isle Fishing Center, Ocean Isle Beach

6/18: East Coast Sports Annual Kids Fishing Tournament – Soundside Park, Topsail

6/18: Historical Southport Bicycle Tour – Southport

6/19: HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

6/20: North Carolina Blueberry Festival – Burgaw

6/20: Blake Kearney Band – Duplin County Events Center, Kenansville

6/20: First Day of Summer

6/20: 15th Annual Snead Ferry Lions Club Pinfish Tournament – Sneads Ferry

6/20: Howl at the Moon – East Beach Access 39, Bald Head Island

6/21: The Hoppers and The Whisnants Gospel Music Concert – Duplin County Events Center, Kenansville

6/24: 4th Friday Gallery Night – Various Venues

6/25: NC 4th of July Festival Freedom Run and Color Outburst – Waterfront Park, Southport

For more June area events in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, and Pleasure Island, click here. For more events in the Oak Island / Southport area, click here. For more events in the Ocean Isle Isle, Sunset Beach, and Holden Beach areas, click here

 

 


May Area Events

5/5: Waterfront Market, Sunset Beach

5/5-8: Wilmington Wine & Food Festival, Wilmington

5/7: A Day on the Oleander Express, The Arboretum

5/7: 5th Annual Coastal Cluck Coop Tour, Wilmington

5/7: GFWC South Brunswick Islands 3rd Annual Juleps & Jazz Kentucky Derby FundRACER, Supply

5/7-15: Far Out Shoot Out, Ocean Isle Beach

5/8: Happy Mother’s Day!

5/12: Waterfront Market, Sunset Beach

5/14: South Brunswick Islands Rotary Club Fore! Kids Golf Tournament, Ocean Isle Beach

5/14-15: 35th Annual Blue Crab Festival, Ocean Isle Beach

5/19: Waterfront Market, Sunset Beach

5/21: Carolina Beach Street Arts Festival, Carolina Beach

5/21: Run Sunset Beach, Sunset Beach

5/26: Waterfront Market, Sunset Beach

5/27-30: Cobia Clash, Ocean Isle Beach

5/30-31: Fisherman’s Post Inshore Challenge, Ocean Isle Beach

For more May area events in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, and Pleasure Island, click here. For more events in the Oak Island / Southport area, click here. For more events in the Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, and Holden Beach areas, click here. Bookmark this page on our website for easy access to all of these events throughout the month of May.


Neighborhood Profile: Bird Island at Sunset Beach

Bird Island is the last undeveloped barrier island in Brunswick County, and one of the few remaining natural barrier islands in the mid-Atlantic region.  At one time, Bird Island was separated Black Skimmerfrom Sunset Beach by a tidal creek (Mad Inlet) that could only be crossed at low tide.   Accretion of sand from storms and conservation efforts has gradually filled in the tidal creek so that two separate islands became one.
Privately owned prior to 2002, Bird Island was a prime target for resort development.

Handwritten pleas, posted in the Kindred Spirit mailbox located on the island (and a destination site in its own right) stopped development of the island.  The State of North Carolina used $4.2 million dollars of public and private funding to purchase the land and create a coastal reserve, administered by the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management.

Now an uninhabited 1,300 acre State Preserve comprised of salt marsh, tidal creeks, highnatural dunes, and pristine sandy white beaches, Bird Island has become a popular destination.  It is one of ten sites that make up the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve.  This coastal ecosystem is an outdoor laboratory about processes, functions, and influences that shape and sustain the coastal area.

The shoreline, dunes, and marshland of Bird Island provides important habitat and nesting for species that are endangered, threatened, or of special concern.  Guided educational walks to Bird Island are hosted by the Bird Island Preservation Society Stewards.  Walks begin at Sunset Beach’s 40th Street walkover and the beach at 8:30 am every Wednesday from June through August, and last about 2 ½ hours.

Reddish Egret PhotoOf particular interest to birders are Reddish Egrets, Egretta rufescens, one of the rarest large wading birds found in North Carolina. Bird Island and adjacent Sunset Beach have become reliable places to find this bird, usually from June through September. They are found on the open beach or on large flats around inlets and in marshes. Their feeding behavior is quite extraordinary, consisting of flapping and running around in an effort to startle prey into exposing itself.

The island also provides foraging and nesting habitat for a number of birds of concern, including the Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger, Least Tern, Sterna antillarum, Eastern Painted Bunting, Passerina ciris, Wood Stork, Mycteria americana, Piping Plover, Charadrius melodus, and Wilson’s Plover, Charadrius wilsonia. Loggerhead Turtles, Caretta caretta, also nest above the high tide.

Come experience the privacy and solace that Bird Island offers.  The animals and birds that inhabit the island are happy to share!

 

Submitted by: Karen Gaspar
Ocean Isle Beach
119 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

Karen Gaspar - Sunset Beach


Kindred Spirit Mailbox – “A Message For You…”

Kindred Spirits are those who share beliefs, attitudes, feelings, similar experiences, or make a special connection.  This special connection is shared by people from all over the world. A bond Kindred-Spirit-Sunset-Beachformed as a result of the Kindred Spirit mailbox.  It is a story of mystery and spiritual awakening.  The Kindred Spirit mailbox has become a popular destination for many visitors to Sunset Beach, NC.  No one knows who first placed the mailbox there more than 30 years ago, although they left this note: “Twenty seven years ago I walked the tide line of Bird Island.  In the distance – right on the low tide line – I saw the silhouette of a rural mailbox.  However, I never could reach it – for it was a mirage.  The very next weekend, I “planted” the original Kindred Spirit mailbox”.

On the uninhabited state preserve of Bird Island now one with Sunset Beach, the mailbox resides among the dunes more than a mile past the last public beach access on Sunset Beach. Visitors can sit on a nearby bench and write their own personal message inside the mailbox’s journal.  People pen thoughts, dreams, hopes, bits of wisdom, deepest secrets, and words of grief.  It has become a place of solace and introspect with entries from new and returning visitors.

Messages can also be mailed to an associated P O Box where they are held with “love, honor, and respect by Kindred Spirit”.  Full journals and worldwide messages are archived in the Randall Library at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for anyone to view.  The Kindred Spirit also has its own website http://kindredspiritbox.com and many of the personal thoughts and hopes left in the mailbox are now published on the site.

Plan a visit. Feel the sand under your feet, listen to the waves, browse through the journals and letters, and take time to pen your own note.  The mail box is waiting for you to become a Kindred Spirit.

Submitted by: Karen Gaspar
Ocean Isle Beach
119 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

Karen Gaspar - Sunset Beach