Take a walk on the Cape Fear’s wild side with a visit to the Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve – a scenic 174-acre natural area that’s a prized component of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Located just outside the busy downtown area in the small town of Leland, this pristine region may be a little tricky to find, but nature lovers who make the trek will be rewarded with plenty of picturesque nature trails where the local wildlife and native plant species shine.

There are two main hiking trails with the preserve, which in turn are divvied up into a network of smaller trails that boast plant identification labels as well as “learning stations” which explain some of the natural features and habitats that are found within Ev-Henwood. Both of the two main trails, the David Sieren Learning Trail and the Troy Henry Learning Trail, take about two hours to explore, and along the way, hikers will be treated to towering pine trees, blooming wildflowers, local songbirds, and dozens of unique species that call this pristine nature reserve home. With a locale that’s close to busy Wilmington but which inherently feels worlds away, the Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve is a refreshing stop for Cape Fear visitors who want to truly get away from it all.

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