Sandhills Game Land

58,713 acres in Moore, Richmond, & Scotland Counties

Open to the Public


Things To Do

Hiking / Birding / Wildflowers / Fishing / Hunting View All

Plan Your Visit

Contact NC Wildlife Resources Commission View All

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Southern Coastal Plain
Moore, Richmond, and Scotland Counties


58,713 acres


Millstone Lake
West End

Topographical maps are available by contacting:
NC Geographical Survey.
1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1612.
(919) 715-9718


NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Division of Wildlife Management
1722 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1712.
(919) 733-7291 


In 1999, The Nature Conservancy purchased the 549-acre Horse Creek property from Gene Ballard and transferred it to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.  The Department of Defense and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided grants to help fund a portion of the $1,875 million acquistion.  In 2002, The Nature Conservancy purchaced 433 acres in Richmond and Scotland Counties and transferred the properties to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission as additions to the Sandhills Game Land.

In the above picture, a controlled burn takes place.  The Sandhills ecosystem needs fire to function.

The Sandhills Game Land comprises one of the most extensive and accessible longleaf pine habitats in North Carolina.  Offering a great cross section of the topography and habitat typical of the Sandhills region, the game land contains longleaf pine woodlands, streamhead pocosins, and seepage bogs.  The area's rolling topography distinguishes it from the flatter and lower terrain in the outer Coastal Plain.  The NC Wildlife Resources Commission manages the area with prescibed burns, which helps maintain the various longleaf pine communities. 

The Nature Conservancy has helped protect three significant natural areas within the game land comprising 982 acres, including the 549-acre Horse Creek Longleaf Forest.  Located near Pinebluff, the Horse Creek Forest provides an important corridor between two major red-cockaded woodpecker populations in the Sandhills Game Land/Camp Mackall and Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Fort Bragg areas.  This forest is a peaceful spot distinguished by oldgrowth longleaf pines extimated to be more than 100 years old that tower over a healthy wiregrass ground cover.  Wild turkey, quail, and the fox squirrel also inhabit the property.  If you visit Horse Creek you might spot the remains of a fox squirrel snack -- this large squirrel shreds the massive longleaf pine cones to extract the tasty seeds.

The Wildlife Commission is working to attract nesting pairs of the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker to the site by building artificial nesting cavities and conducting prescibed burns.  The woodpeckers inhabit mature pine forest that typically contained longleaf pines averaging 80 to 120 years old and/or loblolly pines average 70 to 100 years.  The species is the only woodpeckers that excavates nesting cavities in living trees.  Red-cockaded woodpeckers need from one to several years to create a suitable nesting cavity, which is much longer than other woodpecker species that use dead trees and snags for nesting cavities.

This area is open to the public for multiple uses, including hunting.  Downloadable maps of the game land and hunting schedules are available on the Wildlife Resources Commission web site. 

The Department of Defense also uses the game land for training exercises, so visitors may encounter military personnel.  An extensive system of dirt and sand roads crisscrosses the property; drivers and bikers should be aware that there is deep sand in some areas.

One popular site in the game land is Scotland Lane.  The Wildlife Resources Commission burns this 30-acre site every year, so the longleaf forest here is thriving. During the growing season, be sure to look for the pitcher plants and orchids that grow in the low-lying seeps in the area.  To reach Scotland Lane from the town of Hoffman, from the intersection of US 1/SR 1475, drive south for two miles on US 1.  Turn left on Old Lauren Hill Road (SR 1346), cross the railroad tracks, and drive approximately 1.5 miles.  (At this point you will be on dirt roads.)  At the first main graded intersection, turn left on the unmarked dirt road and drive approximately 0.5 mile and park.  Scotland Lane is on the right side of the road.

A second popular site is Horse Creek. From the town of Pinebluff, drive south on US 1 for about two miles to the intersection with Thunder Road/Addor Road (SR 1102).  Turn right on Thunder Road, and right after you pass the water treatment plant, turn right on an unmarked, semimaintained gravel road. Drive approximately 0.75 mile. The road intersects with the game land boundary, so look for game land signs. If you take a right here, there are access trails into Horse Creek on the left side of the road.

NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Division of Wildlife Management
1722 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1712.
(919) 733-7291


See above.


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