Year of the Trail

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Events, Nature, Online Exclusives

Pender County is offering one themed family-friendly hike per month in 2023.

Pender County Tourism, Pender County Parks and Recreation and Pender County Health Department are joining with a troupe of pirates, naturalists and historians to host one family-friendly hike per month to celebrate 2023 Year of the Trail.

“Pender County is a trail county,” says Tammy Proctor, director of tourism. “We are crisscrossed by major trails such at the Mountains to Sea Trail, the East Coast Greenway, the N.C. Birding Trail, the N.C. Oyster Trail and many more. This year, we’re celebrating the Year of the Trail.”

In a year-long celebration, the various organizations and local municipalities are hosting hikes that are 1 mile or less for families throughout Pender County.

“The first hike is the Hot Chocolate Hike on January 31 at the Abbey Nature Preserve,” says Zach White, Pender County Parks and Recreation supervisor.

2023 Pender NC Hot Chocolate Hike

The Pender County Health Department will lead a hike in Burgaw in February to celebrate the Year of the Trail and Heart Healthy Month. March will feature the Top-Secret Operation Bumblebee Hike in Topsail Beach with the Historical Society of Topsail Island. April will be a Pirate Treasure Hike in Soundside Park in cooperation with a pirate troupe and the Town of Surf City.

May will be a family fun hike into Holly Shelter Game Land with noted naturalist Andy Wood. In June, take a hike on the Blueberry Trail in Burgaw during Blueberry Week.

“We are booking the remainder of the hikes right now,” Proctor says. “It’s going to be a fun activity for families because for every hike a family makes, we will enter their name into a drawing for a grand prize gift basket. The more hikes that family members take, the more chances to win.”

Want to hike?
For more information or to register, call Pender County Tourism at (910) 259-1278 or visit

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Topsail Magazine Contributor

Topsail Magazine Contributor