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Holly Shelter Game Land

75,120 acres in Pender County

Open to the Public


Things To Do

Hiking / Birding / Wildflowers / Rare Plants / Hunting
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Plan Your Visit

Contact the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at View All

Get Directions

Southeastern Coastal Plain/Onslow Bight


"Maple Hill SW, Stag Park"
Contact: NC Geographical Survey
1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1612
(919) 715-9718 

OWNERSHIP AND ACCESS:                               

NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Division of Wildlife Management
1722 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1712.
(919) 733-7291


The Nature Conservancy helped protect 950 acres at Southeast Ridge Preserve and later transferred the property to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.


According to the N.C. Natural Heritage Program, Pender County contains some of the most biologically significant land along the entire U.S. Atlantic Coast.  The county ranks fourth among the state's 100 counties for its total number of rare plants and animal species.  Much of this biological cornucopia is centered around the Camp Lejeune/Holly Shelter region - a vast expanse of longleaf pine savannas, Carolina bays, blackwater streams, and pocosin habitat that encompasses Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County, most of Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in Onslow County, and Nature Conservancy perserves near Maple Hill.  These areas have historically been dependent on fire to thrive, and TNC is helping to restore.  See our Prescribed Fire brochure.

Hiking / Birding / Wildflowers / Rare Plants / Hunting

Please check hunting schedules before planning a trip to Holly Shelter Game Land. 

Roads in the game land are only open during hunting season, so please heed the hunting schedule.  During other times of the year, you can park outside the gates and walk into the game land.

Contact the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for more information.


Two access points into Holly Shelter offer hikers and birders a chance to enjoy some of the game land's diverse habitats. 

Take NC 210 east from I-40 and cross the Northeast Cape Fear River.  Drive less than a mile past the river and turn left on Shaw Highway (SR 1520).  Go 7.3 miles to the Wildlife Commission boat access area by the river.  Follow the trail along the dike between the river and the swamp forest. 

From the intersection on NC 210 and US 17 in Hampstead, drive north on US 17 4.4 miles.  Look for a Wildlife Commission sign on the left at the entrance to Lodge Road.  The road is gated and closed from March 1 through Aug. 31, but you can walk into the game land here and walk through the flatwoods.


Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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