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Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve

Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve is a natural area in Moore County near Southern Pines.  Not a state park, the primary function of the nature preserve is the preservation of native Sandhills ecosystem and education of visitors on this unique ecosystem.  However, there are few amenities for visitors to enjoy.  There are over four miles of hiking trails leading through stands of longleaf pine and swampy areas.  Additionally, the visitor center has exhibits on the cultural and natural history of the Sandhills and longleaf pine.

Contact Information:

1024 Ft. Bragg Road
Southern Pines, NC 28387

Phone: (910) 692-2167

GPS: 35.1469, -79.3690


The preserve is located off Fort Bragg Road, two miles east of Southern Pines.  From US-1, turn onto Saunders Boulevard and go about 1.2 miles and then turn left onto Bethesda Road.  Bethesda Road will turn into South Fort Bragg Road and the entrance to the preserve will be on the left in about two miles.



There are more than 4 miles of hiking trails throughout the preserve.  Individual trails are listed below.

Bower's Bog Trail:

Length: 0.3 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Red

Bower's Bog Trail is a short loop from the eastern end of the parking lot at the visitor center.  After a tenth of a mile, Lighter Stump Trail intersects with the trail before it loops around and terminates back at the parking lot.

Fox Squirrel Loop:

Length: 0.5 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Red

Fox Squirrel Loop is a half-mile loop trail in the Paint Hill Tract.  The trail begins and ends from Pyxie Moss Trail.

Gum Swamp Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Blue

Gum Swamp Trail is a half-mile loop that branches off from Pine Barrens Trail.  From the western intersection point, the trail leads through a mixed forest of pine and hardwoods and a swampy area near James Creek.  About half way through the loop, Holly Road Trail splits off, and then Gum Swamp Trail intersects again with Pine Barrens Trail, and joins the longer trail to finish up the loop.

Holly Road Trail:

Length: 1.8 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Yellow

Holly Road Trail is the longest trail in the preserve.  A short spur trail from Gum Swamp Trail crosses a footbridge a leads to the main loop, which covers the northern part of the preserve.  There are several intersections with service roads and equestrian trails, but the intersections are well marked so just keep an eye out for the yellow blazes.

Lighter Stump Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Green

Lighter Stump Trail is the only trail in the preserve that is not a loop.  The trail leads from the Pine Island Trail at its northern end to the Bower's Bog Trail at the southern end.  This is the newest trail in the preserve.

Moccasin Crossing:

Length: 0.1 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Blue

Mocassin Crossing is a short connector between Gum Swamp Trail and Holly Road Trail.  The trail crosses James Creek on a large boardwalk.

Pine Barrens Trail:

Length: 1.0 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: White

The Pine Barrens Trail is a one mile loop from the visitor center through open stands of longleaf pine.  Hiking the loop clockwise, the trail starts to the west of the visitor center and enters the pine forest.  About a third of the way through the trail, it intersects with Gum Swamp Trail.  At the intersection, left goes to Gum Swamp Trail and right continues on both trail.  A short ways further, Gum Swamp Trail splits off to the left, while the Pine Barrens Trail loops back around and terminates behind the visitor center.

Pine Island Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Orange

Pine Island Trail is a half-mile loop in the northeastern section of the preserve.  The trail splits from Holly Road Trail at the eastern-most section and loops through a swampy area with boardwalks and bridges over some wet spots.  About thee-quarters of the way through the loop, Lighter Stump Trail branches off to the south.

Pyxie Moss Trail:

Length: 0.8 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Blue

Pyxie Moss Trail is a trail in the Paint Hill Tract of the park.  Starting from the parking area, it passes the Fox Squirrel Loop twice then loops through the tract, ending in the middle of the Fox Squirrel Loop.  The trail is named for the pyxie moss that blooms in spring.


The longleaf pine forest in Weymouth Woods is home to abundant wildlife.  Pine barrens gentian (Gentiana autumnalis) is a rare wildflower that blooms in the falls.

Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina)

Blog Entries:

21-Nov-2018: Sandhills Hikes

24-Nov-2016: Thanksgiving Hike at Weymouth Woods

28-Nov-2013: Thanksgiving Hikes in the Sandhills

External Links:

NC State Parks website: http://www.ncparks.gov/weymouth-woods-sandhills-nature-preserve

Weymouth Center website: http://weymouthcenter.org/