Brunswick Riverwalk Is Growing
Belville’s Riverwalk Park is about to grow again! Thanks to a donation of land from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Park’s boardwalk along the Brunswick River will soon extend to the NCDOT facility on Old River Road, almost doubling the size of the walkway. As part of Base 2 expansion, a new fishing pier and canoe/kayak launch are also in the works, according to Belville Mayor Mike Allen, who also said boat rides and water taxi are also being explored as part of the project.
The land being donated is mostly wetlands, so the walkway will run just offshore over the Brunswick River. “We’re trying to enhance it so the public can enjoy it,” said Mayor Allen.
The land donation for the walkway fits into the Department of Transportation’s mission perfectly, according to NCDOT Division Engineer for Division 3 Chad Kimes. “It’s moving people,” he said. “That’s what we’re in the business of doing.”
Aside from its natural beauty, this area of the Brunswick River and its shoreline hold some important history. Mayor Allen said that during and after World War II the area was full of Wilmington-constructed Liberty ships, used to transport personnel and cargo from World War II up through the Korean War, after which the ships were scrapped.
Civil War-era gun emplacements can still be found on this land as well as the remains of an old railroad. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson site Director Jim McKee said he will be doing a survey of the land to try to uncover as much of this history as possible.
The Riverwalk Extension is the beginning of work by the Town of Belville to develop the Brunswick River waterfront. The Belville Vision 2030 Plan is under development and could mean major new amenities for the town. For more information on the Belville 2030 plan, visit the town’s website at www.townofbelville.com/vision2030.