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History

History

The Cape Fear Indians lived in and around the area that is now Carolina Beach State Park, prior to European settlement. Mainly occupying the land along the Cape Fear River and its tributaries, the small tribe grew hostile to early settlers and, in 1715, participated in an uprising against Europeans in the area. The Cape Fear Indians were defeated and left the area by 1725. Artifacts of the native culture, including pottery fragments, arrowheads and mounds of oyster shells, have been found in the area.

Early attempts at colonization in the area were unsuccessful, mainly due to conflicts with the Cape Fear Indians. Pirating, common in the area during colonial times, also contributed to the struggles of early settlers. In 1726, a permanent settlement was established along the lower Cape Fear. The newly settled land became an important arena for commerce when the English crown designated the Cape Fear River as one of five official ports of entry. Agricultural and timber products, naval stores, shipping and trade formed the basis of the economy.

Sugarloaf, a 50-foot sand dune near the bank of the Cape Fear River, has been an important navigational marker for river pilots since 1663. The dune was also of strategic significance during the Civil War when, as part of the Confederacy's defense of the Port of Wilmington, about 5,000 troops camped on or near Sugarloaf during the siege of Fort Fisher.

Carolina Beach State Park was established in 1969 to preserve the unique environment along the intracoastal waterway.

The 761-acre park is located on a triangle of land known as Pleasure Island, which lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. The land became an island when Snow's Cut was dredged in 1929 and 1930, connecting Masonboro Sound to the Cape Fear River. Snow's Cut, a part of the Intracoastal Waterway, provides inland passage for boat traffic along the Atlantic coast.

Contact:

Carolina Beach State Park

1010 State Park Road PO Box 475
Carolina BeachNC 28428
Phone910-458-8206
910-458-7770 Marina
carolina.beach@ncparks.gov
Latitude: 34.047297
Longitude: -77.906605

Park Hours:

All park facilities are closed on Christmas Day.

Park
Dec & Jan: 7am - 6pm
Feb & Nov: 7am - 7pm
March, April & Oct: 7am - 9pm
May - Sept:  7am - 10pm
 

Park Office
8am - 5pm daily

Visitor Center 
8am - 5pm daily

Marina
Dec & Jan 8am - 5:30pm
Nov & Feb:  8am - 6:30pm
March, April, & Oct: 8am - 8:30pm
May - Sept: 8am - 9:30pm

Fuel Dock
Nov - Feb: 8am - 5pm
March, April, Sept, Oct: 8am - 7pm
May - Aug: 8am - 8pm