Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve - Post 1 - Southern Pines, NC
If we’re being 100% honest, in looking for day trips from the Triangle, we’d passed over the North Carolina State Parks' Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve multiple times because it just didn’t seem that exciting. A bunch of pine trees. Cool. But we’re here to tell you that belief was entirely misplaced.
It’s hard to truly describe the majestic feeling you get walking the sandy trails through the hundreds of beautiful longleaf pine trees at Weymouth Woods. Longleaf pines create fantastic timber and were extensively logged beginning in the mid-1700s for things like Royal Navy masts, and railroads. Because of this, most of the original and virgin growth longleaf pines were gone from the Sandhill region by 1900. The fact that these tracts of land exist at all is a miracle. (More about this in post 2.)
After speaking with a ranger at the park office, we also learned that for tracts of longleaf pines to really thrive, controlled burns need to occur to cut down on some of the other plants around the trees. In the areas closer to the office, you can see signage about when controlled burns occurred in certain areas, and you can visibly tell the difference between those sections and the rest of the park. Not to mention it’s pretty cool to see some charred remnants along the way.
Overall, the Preserve has 3 different tracts of land: Weymouth Woods, Boyd, and Paint Hill. This post is just about Weymouth Woods, which is the main area with the park office. We highly recommend a visit to the office, which you can’t miss since it is right by the parking and bathrooms, as they have some information about the neat history of the park. Plus you can get your NC State Parks Passport stamp. To the left of the office, you can find a Kids in Parks Track Trails sign with brochures for fun activities to do while hiking in the park. We also saw an ecoEXPLORE sign by the office entrance.
This part of the park hosts a number of easy trails, none of which are particularly long, but definitely not stroller friendly. We grabbed a map at the office and made a big loop through the park using a hodge podge of trails.
This is it for now, but stay tuned for posts 2 and 3 about our trip!
(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on December 30, 2020.)