Best Things to Do Outdoors in Southern Pines and Pinehurst
By Cate Schweitzer
Spending time outside is one of my favorite activities and there’s no shortage of incredible outdoor activities in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area. Whether you’re an avid hiker looking for a great trail, or you just want to relax on a patio, there’s something for everyone in the amazing Sandhills region in North Carolina.
Not only is Southern Pines home to numerous hiking trails, but it also boasts a great downtown. Of course, you can always head out to the golf course since this is the Home of American Golf, but I think this area has so much more to offer.
If you’re in search of a new area to explore, I highly recommend adding this part of the state to your list. I recently visited and had a blast. Here is my guide on what to do outdoors while you’re there!
The Southern Pines/Pinehurst area has a ton to offer, but this guide will focus exclusively on getting outside!
Hiking in Weymouth Woods is incredibly accessible. Most of the trails are super close together which makes exploring exceptionally easy. Weymouth Woods is also only six minutes from downtown Southern Pines.
My favorite hiking trail while I was there was the Lighter Stump, Pine Island, and Holly Wood Road Loop. My dog and I enjoyed spending time being active and taking in the scenery.
Weymouth Woods is home to eight different hiking trails so there are options for every type of hiker. The trails are easy to do with kids and/or dogs and don’t require a lot of intense hiking skills.
I even saw multiple runners on the trail getting in a workout. These trails are ideal for running since most of it is flat and there aren’t a ton of obstacles to maneuver around.
The greenway system located in Southern Pines spans multiple different trails and is ideal if you’re looking to get some extra miles in. If you love biking, you can get a decent amount of mileage by following the trail map.
Exploring the greenway system is a great way to see more of the Southern Pines area. Parking is available at numerous spots including Reservoir Park, Elizabeth Rounds Park, and Whitehall Trail.
Southern Pines Greenway System
Another great area to go on a hike is Reservoir Park. There is an incredible 2-mile loop that goes around Reservoir Lake, perfect for a morning stroll or an evening watching the sunset.
I did my morning run here and the trail was relatively flat and easy to navigate. I loved listening to the birds and stopping off at the different viewpoints to get a good look at the water.
As the name suggests, Aberdeen Lake Park trail is in the city of Aberdeen directly south of Southern Pines.
The trail circles Aberdeen Lake and is approximately a mile long making it perfect for a family outing. The park also has picnic tables available as well as access to fishing.
Aberdeen Lake Park
The city of Southern Pines is very walkable and is super fun to explore during the day. There are numerous shops and cafes as well as art galleries and a bookstore!
If you need a break from outside, check out the Sunrise Theater to cool down.
Downtown Southern Pines
One of my favorite parts of my visit was seeing the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens. This is the perfect spot for a photo opportunity such as family photos or a relaxed stroll admiring all the different plants.
Located in Pinehurst, this complex is comprised of 12 different gardens including a fruit and vegetable garden, a succulent garden, and rose garden.
The best garden in my opinion is the Sir Walter Raleigh Garden, which is a formal English Garden that has beautifully manicured plants.
I particularly liked the gardens because of how accessible they are. The paths are wide and accessible for people of all ages. There are benches scattered throughout to take a break and enjoy the scenery.
Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
Reservoir Park not only has a great hiking trail, but it also is a wonderful spot for numerous other outdoor activities.
The park has a fantastic disc golf course, multiple group pavilions, ideal fishing spots, and the best trees for setting up a hammock. If you’re interested in spending time on the lake you can also bring a kayak, canoe, or paddle board to explore the lake.
I spent an evening here with my dog relaxing by the lake and reading a book in my hammock. Talk about a perfect way to end the day.
The Moore County Mural Trail is an ideal way to spend time outside without working up a sweat.
The murals were created to tell stories about culture, history, and notable townspeople. It’s a fun way to learn more about the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area, while also enjoying some beautiful artwork.
Murals can be found in most of the towns within the county! Head to Carthage, Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen for an awesome day exploring murals.
If you own horses and love horseback riding, then Southern Pines is a perfect destination for you.
Walthour Moss Foundation is directly outside of downtown Southern Pines and offers more than 4,000 acres exclusively for equestrian use.
There aren’t any places that offer horseback riding nearby, so you must provide your own horse to make use of this amazing space.
Walthour Moss Foundation
One of the best outdoor activities in Southern Pines is the Moore County Farmer’s Market. Like many people, I love supporting local businesses and a farmer’s market is the perfect place to do just that.
Not only does the farmer’s market have local produce, coffee, and pastries, but it also has live music which you can listen to while enjoying any of the former. This is a rousing way to start the morning and enjoy a sunny day.
I spent more than an hour here with my dog perusing the different stalls and eating my breakfast on the lawn while listening to two local musicians.
I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely obsessed with outdoor patios. There’s nothing better to me than rolling up to a patio following a day of adventuring.
The patio with which I was most impressed during my stay was Red’s Corner. This entire place is outside since it’s an outdoor food truck venue. There are numerous food trucks to choose from and the trucks are permanent fixtures, so it’s almost like a food hall — but outside.
I ate some of the best Thai curry I’ve had in a long time here. On top of that, the cookie from Cookies-N-Moore Food Truck is to die for. One of the best parts of this place is the live music. In addition, it’s extremely kid and dog friendly making it perfect for just about anyone.
The seating options are plentiful and if you want to sit further away from people there are some picnic tables that are set up away from the main area.
If you make your way over to Pinehurst for part of the day, you need to grab a beer at Pinehurst Brewing. The patio here is an absolute vibe since this used to be an old steam plant.
The building is made up of a ton of old brick and the outside has long tables to accommodate big groups.
Dogs are allowed outside here as well which is a major bonus!
Located downtown, Hatchet Brewing has a fabulous patio with a wide selection of beers. The brewery was founded by local veterans who were looking to create a place of community in Southern Pines.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading on the patio while everyone else was participating in music bingo.
The brewery typically has food trucks on busy nights, as well, or you can order your own food to enjoy with your beer.
Hatchet Brewing Company
The Roast Office is situated off the main part of downtown Pinehurst. It’s an old post office that was renovated and turned into a bookstore/coffee shop.
To get a drink or food you’ll need to order inside and then they will bring it to your table outside. Make sure to peruse the books before or after you order! Any book purchase supports the local library.
The Roast Office
Cate is a hiking addict with a love of all things outdoors. Most of what she shares on her Cate’s Compass blog focuses on camping, hiking, backpacking, and other incredible outdoor activities. Follow her on Instagram @CatesCompass. All photos were captured by Cate too.