America's Scenic Byways

Sandhills Scenic Drive

46 miles - 1 hour

This byways' name originates from a series of low rolling hills located between the Cape Fear and Pee Dee Rivers. Settled by Scottish Highlanders around 1740, the area was named for the coarse sandy soil. Along the route visitors can stop at the Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve in Southern Pines. Here is the last remaining cluster of ancient longleaf pines which covered the sandhills until the logging of the 18th Century nearly wiped them out. The surrounding swamp forest also houses rare plants and animals while the forest has regenerated with the faster growing shortleaf pine. Also found on the byway are Morrow Mountain State Park and Lake Tillery, a fine resource for the state's recreation enthusiasts.