Walking & Biking

From our ever-growing bike network shown in the above bike map, to our historic Riverwalk, Wilmington offers many options for traveling, commuting, and walking around town. We have urban hikes, bicycle routes, the 15-mile Gary Shell Cross City Trail, and the River to Sea Bikeway that connects Downtown to Wrightsville Beach. The hills are small and the weather is great. Go walk and ride!



  • Bicycles are defined as vehicles in North Carolina and are subject to vehicle traffic laws.
  • Bicycle registration is required for anyone riding a bike upon any of the streets, alleys, or public ways of the city of Wilmington. Bicycle registration is free for residents and $1 for non-residents.
  • Bicycles, like any other vehicle, are entitled to use the full travel lane. Motor vehicle drivers wishing to pass a bicyclist may do so only when there is abundant clearance and no oncoming traffic is in the opposing lane. When passing a bicyclist, always remember the bicyclist is entitled to use of the full lane.
  • Bicycles must be equipped with lights from sunset to sunrise or when not visible from a distance of at least 300 feet.
  • A bicyclist should always use hand signals to indicate turning and stopping. When a bicyclist decides it is safer or more efficient to use a sidewalk or shoulder instead of the roadway, the bicyclist should keep a careful lookout and act predictably by communicating with traffic.
  • Bicyclists should wear a helmet at all times. It is required by law for anyone under the age of 16 to wear a helmet on a bicycle.

Bike to Work

There are many benefits to commuting by bike. Studies have shown that people who use active transportation to get to work are happier, have increased health benefits, and reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Request a safe place to store your bike at work.
  • Ask your employer about starting an employee benefits program that rewards employees for bicycling work. (Federal Bike Credit)
  • Check with your employer about facilities for showering at or near work.
  • Wear a helmet, reflective clothing and use lights at night.

Bike One Way & Bus Back

Each Wave bus is equipped with racks to carry your bike at no extra charge. Maybe it's a beautiful morning to ride to the beach, but it will be too hot once you're ready to pack up. Perhaps a one-way ride gets you to your health goals. Either way, you can look to the bus schedule to help you out.

Trail Etiquette

The Gary Shell Cross-City Trail is enjoyed by many types of users, including bicyclists, walkers and joggers, wheelchair users, families with strollers, pets, and more. Proper etiquette is important to keep trails safe, accessible, and pleasant for all users. Please obey the following guidelines on the trail:

  • Share the trail, regardless of transportation mode, speed or level of skill

  • Pedestrians have right of way.  Keep right, pass on the left

  • Please pick up after yourself and pets

  • On a bicycle? Wear a helmet, Watch your speed

See a full Trail Etiquette PDF (specifically for Gary Shell Cross City Trail) here(PDF, 1MB)