Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Travel

How to Find Venus Flytraps at Carolina Beach State Park

The crazy-plant-lady in me got a little crazier when I made my family go with me to find Venus Flytraps at Carolina Beach State Park.

How to find Venus Flytraps at Carolina Beach State Park.

Within a 70-mile radius of Wilmington, North Carolina is the only place in the world that you can find them growing in the wild and we couldn’t leave this duty station without seeing them.

We drove out to Carolina Beach State Park, a 2 hour 15 minute drive from Fort Bragg, for our chance to see these toothy little plants.

Flytrap Trail: Round 1

We set out on the Flytrap Trail, despite the drizzly weather, with our eyes wide open searching for the famous Venus Flytraps.

The Flytrap Trail is a flat, easy half-mile loop through longleaf pines and pocosin wetlands, with parts of the trail traveling along boardwalks. (This trail is also wheelchair accessible!)

The Flytrap Trail at Carolina Beach State Park travels along several boardwalks and is wheelchair accessible!
(Walking through the pocosin wetlands.)

We slowly walked along the trail, staring at the ground on either side of the trail searching for the carnivorous plants. But we had absolutely NO LUCK.

We knew the flytraps were tiny, so we took our time and looked closely at the ground. Yet, we still didn’t find any Venus Flytraps.

Pitcher plants at Carolina Beach State Park.
(We did, however, find other carnivorous plants, like these pitcher plants!)

We left the park as the rain began to fall harder, with plans to return the next day.

I started Googling tricks to finding Venus flytraps and came across this post, that had an invaluable clue for finding the flytraps!

The most sure-fire way to see the flytraps at the park is to go on a guided hike. However, those were cancelled due to Covid, so that wasn’t an option for us.

The article I found mentioned a wooden structure and a trail of sawed-off stumps. So, we went back to the park the next day armed with this new information and found TONS of Venus Flytraps!!!

Finding Venus Flytraps at Carolina Beach State Park.

The Secret to Finding the Venus Flytraps

The secret to finding the Venus Flytraps was to get off the main trail!

No, do not stomp off anywhere you please! But do take some of the designated smaller paths that branch off from the main trail.

We found the wooden structure that was mentioned in the article and took the trail directly behind it. The sawed-off stumps were pretty much rotted away, but there were still plenty of Venus Flytraps just waiting to be found!

Seriously, after we spotted our first one, we saw them everywhere!

The girls could even find them by themselves. They loved pointing them out to me and their dad!

Seeing wild Venus Flytraps at Carolina Beach State Park was a fun experience! We were excited to finally mark it off of our Fort Bragg Bucket List.

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