Nestled in the North Carolina Sandhills and the heart of the Piedmont region lies Moore County; one of the most special places in the state. Though well known for its world-class golf courses, there’s much more than that in this area. Moore County has some spectacular natural beauty, extensive outdoor activities available, and a beautiful mild climate for residents and visitors to enjoy. The NC Year Of The Trail combined with Pinecone Pathways have to be on the top of the list of things to do in North Carolina!
Moore County is rich in beautiful parks, hiking and nature walks, scenic landscapes, pine forests and an abundance of wildlife. You can explore a wealth of outdoor activities during your visit this spring. But most importantly, don’t miss out on the Pinecone Pathways Program!
What Is The Pinecone Pathways Program?
The Pinecone Pathways Program is a wonderful program that Moore County is hosting this spring, kickstarted on March 20th. This is one of the best things to do in North Carolina this spring season! The Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has partnered with glassmakers at Starworks in nearby Star, NC, to create a total of 200 glass pinecones for this event.
These colorful glass pinecones will be hidden across the many extensive trails throughout the county until the end of May. Visitors and locals will receive hints each Friday on social media as to where the pinecones are hidden, and then can head to the trails to seek out these hidden gems. It’s the ultimate nature treasure hunt! Not only do you get to keep the beautiful piece, but each pinecone has its own special number and QR code that you can register for a chance to win fun prizes.
Who Is Starworks in Star, NC?
Starworks in Star, NC, is a non-profit working arts community in North Carolina. It provides NC residents with artistic educational programs and collaborations targeting professional artists, young adults and children. They are best known for preserving ceramic arts and glassblowing across Moore County and greater NC.
How Do You Find A Glass-Blown Pinecone?
The Pinecone Pathways Program will run until May 31st, 2023. To find a glass-blown pinecone, the first step is to check out the Home of Golf website or CVB social media channels for the list of trails! Then, hit the Moore County nature and walk trails. Hint: Unofficial Facebook groups and local area retailers near the trails may have extra info on where to find the hidden pieces. Then keep your eyes peeled when you are enjoying your walk, hike, or bike because you will be able to find the glass-blown pinecones sparsely hidden across the trails.
What Are The Rules Of The Pinecone Pathways?
The rules of the Pinecone Pathways program are simple. Finders, keepers…you find a pinecone, then keep one pinecone. If you find a second one, leave it be or you can swap it with the one you found. Next, you must register the pinecone you found on social media using the QR code attached and hashtag #PineconePathwaysNC. Those who register their pinecone will qualify to win a two-night stay in the Pinehurst area and a $250 gift card. Quick reminder: anyone is free to join the program; however, pinecones are only placed on public nature trails, not on private property. Also, during your search, you should be mindful of the natural flora and fauna.
Are There Any Other Unique Trail Experiences In Moore County?
Moore County, starting on April 11th, unveils a unique, interactive experience the whole family can enjoy. With the Sandhills Story Trail Adventures you’ll join Winnie-the-Pooh on an exciting adventure through hidden trails full of magical entertainment! Created by Pinehurst, Southern Pines & Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in collaboration with official Destination Storyteller Dan Dreyer, everyone – from residents to visitors alike – will be swept away into this imaginative world.
Moore County has embraced the art form of the mural, and has engaged with artists to beautify its towns and rural areas through colorful, locally-inspired murals. With a total of more than a dozen stunning artworks spread across cities such as Robbins to the north, Aberdeen to the south and Carthage courthouse square in between – where five can be found near each other – these eye-catching pieces represent local history, culture, lifestyle or famous figures from these communities. From Vass all the way down to Cameron; make sure you don’t miss this vibrant journey filled with unique stories that await your visit!
What Is The Great Trails State Coalition and What Is The NC Year Of The Trail?
The Great Trails State Coalition is an amalgam of organizations, agencies, and advocates promoting state investment in all trails across North Carolina. The Great State Coalition has worked with the NC state legislature to declare 2023 the Year of The Trail. This effort has been made to celebrate the vast network of trails, greenways and blueways that spread across North Carolina. This campaign will reach out to local communities and out-of-state visitors guiding them on how and where to experience these stunning trails.
What Are The Goals For The NC Year Of The Trail?
The goals for the NC Year of The Trail are simply to demonstrate the importance of the state’s nature trails not only to elected officials but also to the local community. This campaign will help sprout interest among people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to explore these natural trails. Doing so will also boost recreation tourism across the state while upholding the safe and responsible use of trails. Finally, this campaign is one that will advance diversity on all grounds and all trails. People from everywhere are welcome to join in!
The Pinecone Pathways Program centered in Moore County is one of the key programs hosted to honor the 2023 Year of The Trail. Besides its natural trails, Moore County has an abundance of outdoor activities and natural attractions, making it a great area to explore. In short, the event promotes diversity and inclusion, safety and anti-littering practices.
Other Outdoor Things to Do in Moore County NC
After you find your pinecone here are some other ways you can explore the great outdoors during your visit to Moore County and the Pinehurst area this year. Many of these rank high on our staff’s favorite top outdoor things to do in North Carolina:
Go Horseback Riding at Walthour-Moss Foundation
The Walthour-Moss Foundation is the name given to one of Moore County’s most well-preserved woodlands. This nature preserve covers around 4,000 acres of stunning landscapes, open fields and forests. You can visit the foundation and enjoy its horseback riding services centered around the Walthour Moss Reserve’s 11.7 km loop trail.
Visit The Beautiful Shores of Thagards Lake
Thagards Lake is a beautiful lake, popularly known for its scenic sights located in Southern Pines, NC. Surrounding the lake is lush flora and several natural hiking trails.
It is one of the top-recommended lakes in North Carolina. There are plenty of picnic areas near the lake that are ideal spots for having a lovely picnic with your loved ones. You can also participate in the many waterfront activities near the lake. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating and kayaking in the pristine lake waters.
Explore The Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve
The Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve is a North Carolina State Park in Moore County covering around 915 acres. It was first established as a preserve in 1963 and has since then protected the expanses of longleaf pine forests, nature trails, and the plant and wildlife in the region.
You can spend the day exploring the natural beauty of this preserve, or you may partake in the many activities they offer including hiking and horseback riding.
Reservoir Park Disc Golf
The Reservoir Park Disc Golf Course is a popular destination for disc golf enthusiasts in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Located in Reservoir Park, the course offers 18 holes of varying difficulty, with a mix of open fairways and wooded areas that require precision shots. The course is well-maintained, with concrete tee pads and baskets that are regularly updated. The park itself is a beautiful green space, with a large pond, walking trails, and picnic areas.
Visit Malcolm Blue Farm
The Malcolm Blue Farm is a historic farmhouse and museum located in Aberdeen, that allows you to take a trip back to the 1820s and catch a glimpse of the region’s rich agricultural history.
It covers more than 7.5 acres of land and houses authentic equipment and furnishings from life in the 1820s. You can visit the farm and explore its various exhibits, take a stroll through its farm gardens, or learn about traditional farming in Moore County.
Rassie Wicker Park & Arboretum
The Rassie Wicker Park is a 103-acre facility established as a community park. It is also home to a 33-acre arboretum developed by the Village Heritage Foundation which hosts several events year-round.
Besides the arboretum, it houses several amenities, including a soccer field, an in-line hockey rink, two tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, splash pads, paved walking trails, and more.
Explore Civil War History In The Bethesda Churchyard
The Bethesda Presbyterian Church is a historic church located in Aberdeen, built in 1822. It served as a hospital for wounded Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, making it an important landmark. You can explore the Bethesda Churchyard and Cemetery to learn more about the Civil War history, particularly its impacts in Moore County.
Explore The Village Of Pinehurst
The Village of Pinehurst is a scenic resort community in Moore County. It is a popular visitor destination that houses the Pinehurst Resort, best known for its golfing amenities. Besides golf, you will also find various shops and bistros within the village. Around the village, you can also enjoy the many concerts, theatrical performances, equestrian events, street festivals and fairs hosted year-round.
Explore The All-American Trail
The All-American Trail is a 23.2 km local hiking and biking trail. You can access it near Fort Bragg Road and Connecticut Avenue in Southern Pines. It includes both flat and moderately hilly sections that take nearly 5 hours to fully complete. The trail is open to the public and is the perfect place to explore if you want some outdoor adventure.
The Pinehurst Greenway is located in the heart of the Pinehurst Village in Moore County NC. It covers roughly 6 miles and has several access spots spread around the village. There are plenty of wonderful facilities linked to the greenway including Rassie Wicker Park, Cannon Park, a butterfly garden and a fitness center.
Pinehurst Harness Track
The Pinehurst Harness Track is a historic harness racing track located in Pinehurst, North Carolina. It covers more than 111 acres of land and has been the key training and racing center of standardbred horses since the 1900s. It consists of three training tracks, a number of center aisle barns, several paddocks and more than 300 stalls.
Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
The Sandhills Horticultural Gardens is an enchanting public botanical garden in Pinehurst. It features 10 major gardens within the facility, all of which are well maintained by the horticultural students at Sandhills Community College. It includes a rose garden, a Japanese garden, a conifer garden, a succulent garden, a holly garden, and many more.
North Carolina’s Moore County is a diverse and beautiful destination. Besides hosting world-class golf events, it has several outdoor activities you can enjoy. With a rich history, plentiful shopping and dining options, and beautiful nature trails, you will find plenty to do during your visit this spring!