and Urban Trail, a 2.2-mile loop through Burgaw, the county
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
In Pender County
On U.S. 17 North, just outside the Wilmington city limits, is
a gift given by a nature-loving woman named Abbey. You won’t
find any concrete there, only dirt paths covered in pine needles,
untamed woods, and a large pond filled with turtles.
Use of the Abbey Foy-Moore Nature Preserve was gifted to
the public through the Carolina Land Trust, which holds 62 acres
of the former Foy land for education and preservation purposes.
A separate entity now from the popular Poplar Grove Plantation,
it all once belonged to the farming Foy family.
The trail begins on the north side of the Poplar Grove manor
house parking lot at 10200 U.S. 17. The circuit is slightly more
than 2 miles long, going in and out of the forest. A wooden bridge
crosses a small dam. Runners, families and walkers love the feel of
being in the unspoiled deep woods on what was once termed the
“old farm road,” which led to the Intracoastal Waterway.
It is by no means a city park. Think more a hike through the
woods, which could contain snakes, mosquitoes and tree roots.
The old-growth forest contains longleaf pines, dogwoods, sweet
gum, oaks, red maple, tupelo, hollies and more. Regular walkers
say it can be crowded on the weekends and people tend to let their
dogs off leash, in contravention of the rules.
Another walk worth experiencing is the Osgood Canal Green-way
seat of Pender County and the usual site of the Blueberry Festival
(planned for June 18-19 but canceled again this year).
The walk meanders through most of the town’s parks, along
a narrow canal, and throughout the main streets of Burgaw.
Hankins Park at 210 N. Walker Street is a good place to park,
as is the Rotary Park near Cape Fear Community College at
100 Industrial Drive.
The walk passes historical markers and the refurbished Burgaw
Train Depot, said to be the oldest standing depot in North Carolina,
circa 1850. Once the site of Civil War prisoner exchanges, today it is
a museum and a meeting or party venue.
Top: Abbey Foy-Moore Nature Preserve. Bottom: Burgaw Train Depot
along Osgood Canal Greenway and Urban Trail.
“The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
. . . Start slowly, end slowly, and stretch.”
— advice from a mayo clinic article.
Search the New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender county websites, as well as the Wilmington and North Carolina Land Trust sites, for more
ideas about good walks in the area.
Visit the online Mayo Clinic to take a look at the benefits of walking and the proper stance for peak performance. The site includes diagrams
on posture, stretching, and other hints for walking excellence.