After getting our first NC State Park Passport stamp at Carver’s Creek, we were eager to get the next one. Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve is only a 45 minute drive from Fort Bragg. So, it made perfect sense that we would go there next.
However, there are 23 state parks that are within easy driving distance from Fort Bragg. So, we have many more stamps to get!
Weymouth Woods Hike
I have to admit that the kids weren’t particularly thrilled about this park at first. All the pictures we found online were of ‘just boring trees’. However, we were pleasantly surprised that our walk through the woods was more fun than we thought it would be.
All of the trails at Weymouth Woods are short, easy trails. The Equestrian Trail is the longest trail at Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve at 2.6 miles in length.
The kids and I chose to hike the Pine Barrens Trail. It was a 1-mile long walk and we finished it in 45 minutes. That was after stopping to take pictures, pick flowers, and play in the woods. This trail is also a TRACK trail, which is part of the Kids in Parks program that makes the hike an adventure with an illustrated, self-guided brochure.
We made our visit to Weymouth Woods in the evening, after the heat of the day, and only passed one other person on the trail. It would have been a perfect visit to the park, except because we waited so late to go, we weren’t able to get our stamp I though that since the park closes at 8 in the summertime, that we would be able to get our stamp. However, the office closes at 5. It was a bummer, considering the stamp was the main reason we went, but it just gave us an excuse to go back another day.
World’s Oldest Longleaf Pine & Home of James Boyd
We ended up going back to Weymouth Woods that weekend to get our stamp and to find the oldest longleaf pine in the world! Researchers have confirmed that this tree turned 470 years old this year (2018).
While we were already in Southern Pines for the day, we decided to visit the Weymouth Center, which is a 1920s Georgian mansion, formerly the home of author James Boyd. In the 20th century, this home became a popular gathering place for famous writers, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe. The Weymouth Center still host writers in residence there at the house.
It’s the current home of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Because we went on the weekend, when the home isn’t open, we just walked around the grounds and gardens. Which was a treat in itself, but I plan on going back to see the inside of the house one day.
Though I wouldn’t suggest Weymouth Woods as a day trip destination in it’s own right, it makes a nice family outing when you visit a few other places in the area. Southern Pines is a quintessential southern small town, full of cozy cafes, small businesses, and the home of PT Barnum. So go for a hike, then have a relaxing meal and explore downtown before heading home!