While the mountains may get all the notoriety, the Sandhills area of North Carolina boasts a bountiful smorgasbord of autumn offerings for outdoor enthusiasts, including numerous parks, lakes, disc golf courses, dog parks, nature trails and more. Here are a few of our favorites this fall:
Aberdeen Lake Park
Enjoy a picturesque, 2-mile lake trail, with a train-themed playground and views galore. Ideal spot for family picnics, boating (no gas engines) … and everything in between, including a gazebo, picnic shelter and recreation center — each available for rental.
Bear Creek Trail System
Serves up more than 8 miles of trails along scenic Bear and Cabin Creeks. Map kiosks at intersections and the main trail heads provide info on different loop hikes, distances and difficulty. There are also disc golf and canoeing opportunities.
Cameron Historic District
A destination for the serious collector, tradesperson and those interested in local history. Recognized as an architectural gem, this district includes old homes, antique shops and beautiful churches. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and featuring structures that date back to the 1870s.
Clara McLean Healing Garden
Inspired by classical English design, this whimsical garden with traditional elements is nestled between the property of the Clara McLean House and the Pinehurst Greenway Trail. Paths lead the visitor on self-guided tours of garden rooms, with seating for quiet reflection or to simply admire the view. Life-size chess and checker boards for younger visitors.
Disc Golf at Reservoir Park
One of the area’s fun “frisbee golf” course designs, with simple navigation: tee box signs with yardage and very short walks between holes. Beautiful views of the reservoir, as the course meanders through a longleaf pine forest along the gently rolling hills of the Sandhills. Also enjoy bicycling, jogging, or just walking on paths through the woods.
Meandering for nearly 6 miles through the community of Pinehurst and its historic business district, through Rassie Wicker Park, the Pinehurst Arboretum and all the way out to Linden Road. The trails are for pedestrian and bicycling access only, and include several places for users to hop on the greenway system. Plenty of other amenities close to the trail, including shops and restaurants, and of course, golf.
Southern Pines Greenway Trail System
Boasts more than 11 miles of walking and biking trails. Trail systems include the David R White (approximately 2 miles wandering the scenic 95-acre lake), Longleaf (about 1 mile connecting the Pine Grove Village, Talamore, and Longleaf neighborhoods to the Reservoir Park and Forest Creek Greenways), Forest Creek (more than 4 miles connecting Longleaf Greenway to the Forest Creek Development, to the O’Neal School, and to Highway 22 at Nicks Creek), Mill Creek (1 mile connecting Reservoir Park to the Warrior Woods residential area. Future plans add another three miles of trail through Warrior Woods and to the Carolina golf community) and Nick’s Creek (nearly 4 miles connecting Reservoir Park to Highway 22).
A woodland where time stands still. More than 4,000 acres of unspoiled land that exists as a sanctuary for diverse wildlife and enjoyment for mankind. The Foundation was originally known for its equestrian use, which continues to attract world-class riders and drivers to its sandy lanes and trails. However, the implementation of proper silva culture and ecological practices have made this a true environmental preserve.
Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
A distinctive, 898-acre area located in the midst of an enormous nature preserve, with a goal to preserve and portray the natural features unique to this region. Learn more about the fascinating species and plants indigenous to the south-central North Carolina environment. Also offers amazing nature trails and a “Discovery Room,” with things for kids to touch and explore, weekly events and a Sandhills Museum offering educational events on a weekly basis.
Also view our Top 10 Nature Walks.