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Abbey Nature Trail

Bring Fido with you to explore nature at the dog-friendly Abbey Nature Trail in Wilmington, NC. The 67-acre Abbey Nature Preserve has a 2.4-mile nature trail winding through woods and crossing over the mill pond. Once the original site of Poplar Grove's gristmill, the preserve is now part of the Coastal Land Trust and a wonderful escape from the city. Dogs must be on a leash, and please clean up after your pooch. Visit Website

Or call (910) 686-9518 for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating

Abbey Nature Trail has received a rating of 3.6 out of 5 bones by 15 canine critics on BringFido.

  • Nancy
    Feb 24, 2024
    Most of the trail is shut down

    This once beautiful nature preserve has been destroyed by a greedy developer. Most of the land has been cleared of all vegetation. This moonscape should be avoided. Paradise lost.

  • Wilder
    Jun 7, 2021
    good trail, irresponsible dog owners

    there are signs at the beginning of the trail asking that all pets must be leashed to enjoy the trail. can’t say how many times i’ve come across off leash dogs who are out of control and come running up to me and my dog even when i ask the owners to please give me and my dog space. would it kill people to give others a little consideration who also want to enjoy the trail?

  • Tricia
    Jan 10, 2021
    Fun time! Nice outing for dog and me.

    Beautiful, peaceful trails, clean and spacious. Encountered many friendly people and dogs on leashes. Happy tails.

  • Naturegirl
    More than a year ago

    This is a place that is purposely DOG FRIENDLY! A great place for responsible dog owner's to let their pup's be free and Safe! I've encountered a couple of people who are not happy with the dogs running free in the designated off leash areas! If you don't like dog's or are fearful of dog's then, find a different trail!! There's plenty of trails that dog's aren't allowed! Many Charter school's visit Poplar regularly and teach the children about Nature and appropriate behavior around dog's! If you want to run and not see a Dog, Go someplace else! This is a BEAUTIFUL place and I'm very grateful for their allowing dog's off leash once you're on the trail. There's benches, water, trash disposal and I've yet to see a Dog owner who didn't pick up after their pet! The sign clearly states that dog's are allowed OFF LEASH once you've entered the trails. Yes, a few people let their pup's be off leash in the parking lot but, that's a rarity and the majority of people are very responsible and respectful of this beautiful place!

  • Anne
    More than a year ago
    Can't go because of off leash dogs

    It's atrocious that owners let their dogs off leash there when the trail website clearly states that dogs are required to be on leash. I had to leave because of dogs that kept running up to my dog, who didn't appreciate dogs in her face. It's really too bad that selfish people ruin it for everybody and I wish there were rangers there to handle the problem.

  • Taylor
    More than a year ago
    A Daily Venture

    We, almost daily, visit Poplar Grove with my two pups. Avery, my 1.5 Pit/Jack Russel mix and my 6mo old Staffordshire, Raja. My dogs so thoroughly enjoy the trails. Running, playing with other dogs, - just enjoying every moment. It is a place that I feel safe with my dogs being off-leash. There hasn't ever been any confrontation (except with the occasional leashed dog and tense owner - but that's another story for another day). My dogs have never had any issues with any one or any dog - though they were sniffing around someone's picnic by the swing once. Haha. The pond, according to Avery, is excellent for drinking. Raja likes to swim....

    The only thing I'll say for owners is that if your dog is a cat chaser - please keep it leashed or make sure you have top-notch recall (or dogs highly responsive to their e-collars like mine now are) when you arrive back at the actual farm. They have about 40-50 black barn cats that flock. My big boy saw one scamper and was gone in a split second. We've fixed this problem, but I wish I had known there were a herd of cats 100ft away. Haha. All was fine and well. No cats harmed. Just wanted to throw out a heads up.

  • Lexi
    More than a year ago

    We spent about an hour and twenty minutes exploring and wandering around. There are no maps of the trails and we did get lost at one point and just back tracked the way we got to where we were. We walked about 2.5mi and our dog Rookie hopped around like a deer in the woods. He got so tired he laid down in the car (which for him is very unusual)! We had him off leash so when he went to run up and greet another dog we called him to us and asked if they were friendly and if it was okay. Bring a water source for your furry friend as the only one available is the pond and without a lepto vaccine I would say it's dangerous but with one still iffy. We personally had a wonderful time.

  • James
    More than a year ago
    Overall good trail for dogs.

    There are two parking lots. Park in the second one on the right when traveling northbound (away from wilmington).

    Entrance is immediately on the left after leaving the parking lot. Do not follow the road past the "Private property" sign.

    A picture of the entrance to the trail is posted on this page.

    I have to agree with glenn that there needs to be some signs posted about the leash laws. I think I ran into the same dogs while taking mine for a walk. I don't mind dogs off leash but only if their owner can handle them appropriately for everyone else.

    If it were not for those dogs this trail would easily get a 4 star. Well shaded and benches at some parts.

  • Glenn
    More than a year ago
    Dog Attacks and extreme agression

    Let me explain first my one bone rating of the Abbey Nature Trail. I love the trails and have spent eight years with my grand-daughter introducing her to the beauty of the trails and informing her of the gernerousity of the Foy family. My fear and concern are due now to the third vicious attack on my small Boykin Spaniel by dogs that are off leash. I was told by the the owners of the attacking dogs that it was my fault because my dog being on leash provokes agression in dogs off leash. They also informed me that The Abbey Nature Trail permits dogs to be off leash and I should take mine off to avoid future attacks. I am fearful of anyone who may encounter the viscious attacks I have encountered. I am posting this as a warning to those whose dogs are on leash. They are not safe and you may find yourself in a dangerous situation as I have, this being my third. I hope this post will bring attention to this matter. I would like to see signs erected on the leash policies and the legal responsibilities of dog owners. Enforcement if neccessary. I love my dog as do others and I love and enjoy the entire Popular Grove experience but fear should not be a part of this wonderful family facility.

  • Barbara Nicely
    More than a year ago
    For All Lucky Dogs

    Rowdy loves to go to Abbey Nature Trail all year round. Serene and gorgeous but also the best place to exercise your dog to the fullest!

  • J
    More than a year ago
    Hidden Treasure!

    As the previous reviewer said, just park in the plantation's parking lot as if you were taking a tour of the plantation. The trail is right on your left; you won't miss the trail. As you start walking the first trail, signs will lead you to multiple trails. It's stunning, and a perfect place to take the dog for a walk! Right off of Rt. 17 at the plantation.

  • Amber
    More than a year ago
    Great Place

    I went to Abbey's Nature Trail for the first time today with my 10-month old puppy and it was really fun! I loved all the trails, the picnic areas near the pond, and how quiet and secluded it was. We spend about an hour walking around the area and I will say that the trails are not well marked and there were no maps available at information board. There were other people walking around so you definitely couldn’t get lost by any means, but I had no idea where any of the trails went or how long it would take to get back to the parking lot. I did like the area and picked it primarily because it is pet friendly. However, I think it would be better if they enforced some sort of leash-law. There were a lot of dogs not on leashes, which is not a big deal if they listen to their owners, but several dogs came running up to us and were in my dog’s face, which was a little alarming being a dog I wasn't familiar with. Other than those few things, this is an overall great place to go with family, friends, and pets!

  • Tammy
    More than a year ago
    Don't give up...its great!

    It is hard to find but worth it. You enter the drive for the Plantation. The parking is on the left side of the drive. The trail head is on the left at the far end of the parking. It is awesome!

  • Lisa
    More than a year ago
    pin on map is incorrect

    The map shows the trail in South Carolina, north of Charleston. Can someone fix this to reflect the actual location, which is in Wilmington on Hwy 17, just north of 140? Thank you!

  • Jenn
    More than a year ago
    Abby trail

    This is a nice peaceful trail. You can walk the whole thing in about an hour. People are nice and their dogs have been too. There is a nice pond with a brigde you can sit and enjoy the view. Property is lined with residencial and small business. I wish trail was long. Is nice for after work getaway.

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Abbey Nature Trail