Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve -- Boyd Tract (2-24-18)
Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve was established in 1963 to help protect a small slice of remnant Longleaf pine forest. It's 900+ acres was once owned by a man named James Boyd who, thankfully for us today, lovingly preserved the forest which covered his property as it reminded him of the woodlands surrounding his childhood home in Weymouth, England. Boyd's grandson, also named James, and his family continued the preservation of the forest through the early 20th Century and upon James death the land was donated to North Carolina as its first state-owned Nature Preserve. Located just southeast of the town of Southern Pines, Weymouth Woods is now comprised of three separate units. The main unit, where the visitor center and the majority of trails are located, is over 600-acres in size. Complementing it are the nearby Boyd (177-acres) and Paint Hill Tracts (250-acres). All provide glimpses of the former glory of the beautiful Longleaf pine forests of days past.
This short hike takes place at the aforementioned Boyd Tract which was added to the Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve in 1977 and is located just north of the main unit. Though the tract doesn't contain expansive pure stands of Longleaf the trees here are quite venerable, classified as old-growth by foresters. One particular pine here is the better part of 500-years old, the oldest Longleaf on record, while another measures in as the second largest in the State of North Carolina. Needless to say the trees here are big. Circling the heart of the tract is a short well-marked path called the Round Timber Trail. The Round Timber passes by both notable pines I mentioned just a moment ago as well as some other truly impressive mixed Longleaf woodlands. It's a simple stroll and one I don't think should be missed if you're visiting the Weymouth Woods Preserve. That said, come on along with me as I explore this impressive little woodland. A bit more sun would have made it prettier but I think you'll still get a good impression of how impressive this patch of forest is.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.167832, -79.373032
Route Type: Loop Difficulty: EASY
Mileage Hiked: 1.2 miles Hike Duration: 0:45
Trailhead Temp: 65'F Trail Traffic: None!!!
Min. Elevation: 490' Max. Elevation: 590'
Total Vertical Gain: 100' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 83'
Trails Used (blaze color/shape): Round Timber Trail (orange circles)