My love for Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
One of my favorite places to be outdoors is Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve which is located just 90 minutes south/southeast of me near Southern Pines in North Carolina’s Sandhills area. The Sandhills region is a series of sandy ridges and wide flat valleys. The preserve was established to restore and maintain a portion of the unique longleaf pine forest; it is made up of about 900 acres of longleaf pine forest. It is a fantastic spot for birding and wildlife viewing with over 7 miles of trails winding through the long leaf pines.
My first trip down to Weymouth Woods was back in 2018 with my youngest while she was on Spring Break. We were looking for a new place to explore and this place sounded ideal. We were not disappointed! The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect and the trails were calling. Besides looking for a new place to explore and get some exercise in, I had also just read about the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and was secretly hoping to see one but since they are endangered I figured my chances were slim to none. Upon arriving, we went in, checked in with the ranger and got a trail map. I have to admit, I could not have timed this any better if I had tried…upon exiting the Visitors’ Center I was met with another Park Ranger who asked if we were looking for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and pointed to the pine tree that was directly in front of us. Sitting, actually climbing up the tree was not one but two Red-cockaded Woodpeckers!
We didn’t come across any other Red-cockaded Woodpeckers that day as we continued on exploring all that the preserve has to offer but we did come across many other birds.
We started off down Lighter Stump Trail towards Pine Island. Birding was nice along trails. The half mile Pine Island loop has a nice water feature with a boardwalk and a covered sitting area where you can sit and listen and watch for migrating warblers, like Prothonotary Warblers, during the right seasons. Sometimes you may get lucky and see a Great Blue Heron hunting along the swampy creek, we did!
From Pine Island we headed along Holly Road Trail towards Moccasin Crossing which crosses James Creek, with a bridge, another nice birding spot.
We continued on along Gum Swamp Trail and took Pine Barrens Trail back up towards the Park Office. Along the way, we stopped and took in the view from the observation deck on Pine Barrens Trail. Here you can see and hear birds that live amongst the longleaf pines. Back at the Park Office, we sat outside at one of the picnic tables and watched birds come and go from the feeders. It is a nice spot to sit, relax and just enjoy nature. There are also clean restrooms inside the Park Office if needed.
I have since gone back to Weymouth Woods many times as it is one of my favorite places to bird and explore. I hope you’ll check it out one day!
Categories: Favorite Birding Spots