Plans change. Like Daniel Tiger says, “Things may change and that’s okay, today we can do things a different way.” Originally when we planned to go up to see family in Moore County for Memorial Day, we wanted to hit 3 state parks as part of the NC Passport Program. But our trip ended up getting cut a bit, so we settled for the closest – Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve.
Weymouth Woods is covered with hundreds of longleaf pine trees and contains a myriad of rare creatures – the red-cockaded woodpecker, pine barrens tree frog, fox squirrel, mud sunfish and the sandhills chub. It also holds the oldest known living longleaf pine, dating back to 1548, as well as the second largest longleaf pine in North Carolina.
When we first arrived and stepped into the visitor’s center, we were greeted by an incredibly knowledgeable park ranger who made sure to tell us what we should be looking out for – a tree near the visitor’s center housing the rare red-cockaded woodpecker and babies. We were able to identify the tree because of the sap running down which was a way to ward off snakes.
The walk itself was lovely other than it being a very hot and humid day. The paths were nice and wide and none of the trails were particularly lengthy. We could find any markers notating the oldest and largest longleaf pines, so we sort of made a guess as to which ones we thought they were. This would make a great hike for a family with little ones (that aren’t in a carrier still) or for beginner hikers.
The best thing about Weymouth Woods (in my mind) was the children’s discovery room located next to the visitor’s center. It was a complete wonderland! I almost didn’t wake up Caleb but I’m glad that I did. It’s one of the best rooms I’ve seen for children yet. It was filled with all sorts of natural materials (wooden blocks, Grimm’s toys) and board games (like Wildcraft) which already existed on my wish list.
If we lived closer, Weymouth Woods would be a regular visit for us (even if just for the discovery room). There was such a nice variety of wide-open sunny areas, treks through shaded forests, and wet areas. I’d love to take a second trip back to check out the cemetery – we didn’t have time to make it down that way!
I will note that there are several different tracts under the Weymouth Woods – all right there in the same little area. We managed to knock out two of the tracts (we aim for 3 miles at least when we go to a state park).