The Boyd Tract at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve has, in our humble opinion, one of North Carolina’s greatest treasures: the oldest known longleaf pine tree IN THE WORLD.
As we mentioned in post 1, longleaf pines were extensively logged in the Sandhills region and were pretty much non-existent by 1900. If the trees weren’t cut down for timber, resin was harvested from them to create things like tar, pitch, and turpentine. Resin was harvested from the trees by carving large inverted V-shaped cuts at the base of the tree (like the one in the picture here), and you can still see this damage on many of the older trees.
This longleaf pine that we had the pleasure of giving a big hug, is over 470 years old, dating back to 1548. Before St. Augustine, before Jamestown, before the Mayflower, this tree was here.
To get to this tree, you’re going to have to take a little dirt road adventure to the Boyd Tract. We’ve included the NC State Parks maps here, so you can see where Boyd Tract is in relation to the main portion of Weymouth Woods. You will take E. Connecticut Ave. to Den Rd., which is a private dirt road, so please be respectful while driving down it. After a little ways, you will see some signage on the left with the Boyd Tract entrance. There’s no official parking lot - just pull up on the grass off the road. Walk the Round Timber Trail for a few minutes until you see two green stakes on your left, probably about waist high, coming out of the ground. The large tree a little ways in to the right with the large inverted-V scar at the base is the tree! (We have video of this, so make sure to check out our Instastories - sometimes watching is just a bit easier.) Many trees in the Boyd Tract are hundreds of years old, so we definitely recommend taking a walk around this beautiful portion of the park. It’s truly a miracle that this tract of land exists.
Due to the fact that there are some multiuse trails here, and we saw a few horses, keep your eyes open for horse poop.
Check back soon for part 3 of our Weymouth Woods adventure!
(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on January 3, 2021.)