If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we are passionate about our outdoor activities! Of course, the “Home of American Golf” is widely known for our out-of-doors offerings, particularly our world-class links, but we have plenty of other things to do around here when you are not enjoying the lush fairways. Stretch your legs and breathe some fresh air in one of our many parks, hiking trails, farms, greenways — there’s more than enough to satisfy almost any outdoor craving. Here is a super-sampling of some of our local favorite Sandhills spots to enjoy a visit with Mother Nature.
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.
All American Trail
Mountain bikes and trail runners are welcome on this 21-mile, public access trail that borders Ft. Bragg. Just a 5-minute drive from downtown Southern Pines, past beautiful horse farms on the way to the trailhead parking on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Fort Bragg Road. Closed during fall and winter hunting season.
Serves up more than 8 miles of trails along scenic Bear and Cabin Creeks. Map kiosks at intersections and the main trail heads provide information about different loop hikes, distances and difficulty. There are also disc golf and canoeing opportunities.
Fun for “kids” of all ages. Pick your own strawberries, blueberries and grapes. Scheduled tours for a variety of groups. Market has fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, farm-raised pork, local honey and local eggs. Also, homemade ice cream, jams, jellies, and a wide variety of baked goods made fresh daily in the on-site farm kitchen. Be sure to try the famous Tomato Pies. Don’t feel like picking berries? Grab a Nehi or other cold drink plus a bag of cookies, then have a seat in a rocking chair on our large front porch and visit for a while.
A more than 50-acre off leash park for dogs. Wooded areas, open spaces with seating, nature trails and a creek make this a perfect place for canines to play and socialize with other dogs, while their owners enjoy the outdoors or spend time with other dog owners. Parking is available in the cul-de-sac.
Misty Morning Ranch
Small, family run ostrich farm. Husband and wife team started raising ostriches on a beautiful 60-acre ranch in 2016, after departing the city life of Los Angeles behind. With a passion and drive for sustainability, they researched farming alternatives. After visiting many different operations and learning as much about farming as two city people can, they settled raising ostriches. Thanks to North Carolina goodness grows, they were able to find hilltop ostrich farms for mentoring and guidance.
National Athletic Village
Southern Pines’ premier athletic venue. The NAV is home to nearly 80 acres of adventure. With multiple Bermuda grass fields, indoor multi-sport court, 3-D archery range, airsoft field, performance gym and a spartan-like obstacle course, there is something for everyone. There is also a Beer Garden and Beach, complete with sand volleyball courts.
Nick’s Creek Trail
Enjoy hard-packed gravel and sand trails that run 4 miles, until they meet up with the reservoir loop. As an after-hike treat, visit seventh generation Highlander Farms on NC Hwy. 22 for Sam’s Famous Ice Cream.
Meandering for nearly 6 miles through the community and its historic business district, through Rassie Wicker Park, the Pinehurst Arboretum and all the way out to Linden Road. Trails are 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.
Pinehurst Harness Track
This 111-acre equestrian facility has been a winter training center for standardbred horses since 1915. The grounds consist of three training tracks and several center aisle barns with approximately 300 stalls, as well as several paddocks. Champion trotters and pacers train on a choice of tracks, all of which serve as an ideal winter training facility. Available for rent when training is not taking place. Typical events include horse shows, car shows, dog shows, and rugby matches. Also, a memorable venue for concerts, fairs, festivals and other large events.
Pooch Park in the Pines
A 3.5-acre, fenced park that is a joint project between Moore Humane Society and a group of dedicated volunteers. Secured play area surrounded by a 6-foot fence and a double-gated entry, providing shade and water. Parking close to site. Covered garbage cans with regular trash removal and poop disposal stations. Benches and gazebos for humans. Open from dawn until dusk and the annual membership fee includes benefits.
Rassie Wicker Park
A 103-acre community park with a splash pad, an outdoor in-line hockey rink, a playground, tennis courts, bocce court and a soccer field, as well as 3 miles of paved walking and biking trails, and an inexpensive concession stand. Also, home to a 33-acre arboretum. The Magnolia Lawn, Meadow Lawn and Pergola Garden may all be reserved for weddings, receptions, concerts and other events.
Enjoy fishing and boating on this 95-acre lake. 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 under a canopy of pine, oak and hickory trees along the gently rolling hills of the Sandhills. Also enjoy bicycling, jogging, or just walking on flat paths through the woods. Two covered picnic shelters with grills and a number of picnic tables.
Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
Stroll through 10 historic and iconic gardens — a total of 27 acres of richly varied gardens. Enjoy English gardens, a conifer garden, a rose garden, a Japanese garden, a garden featuring wetland flora, and fruit and vegetables gardens, among others, all of which are maintained by the horticultural students at the Sandhills Community College. Also houses sculptures from local artists and some beautifully maintained areas in which to sit and enjoy nature. Admission is free.
Southern Pines Greenway
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).
Village of Pinehurst Disc Golf Course
Fun, 18-hole course located at 861 Chicken Plant Road. Parking is available at West Pinehurst Community Park. The course is first come, first serve unless reserved for private play. Discs are available to check out from the Parks & Recreation Department.
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. 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, 900-acre state park located near Southern Pines in the Sandhills, which is characterized by a series of sandy ridges, and 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 a network of 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. A unique window onto the longleaf pine forests that once covered millions of acres in the southeastern U.S.