Open to the Public
Hiking / Birding / Picnicking View All
Contact our Sandhills Project Office for more information. View All
Sandhills; Hoke County
GPS COORDINATES: (Calloway Forest Community Trail)
OWNERSHIP AND ACCESS:
Sandhills Project Office
P.O. Box 206
140 SW Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28388
Preserving forests like Calloway will help "bridge the gap" between existing protected areas by providing corridors for wildlife and restoring critical tracts degraded by fire suppression.
The Calloway Forest was protected because of a collaborative effort between the Conservancy and state and federal agencies. The NC Department of Transportation purchased the tract as mitigation for effects on red-cockaded woodpecker habitat, established an endowment for its stewardship, and then transferred it to the Conservancy.
We are managing the forest in consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and it will eventually be included in the state's Game Lands program, managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
The Nature Conservancy is working with our partners to restore this tract using a prescribed burning regime. For more information on how fire has historically helped the Sandhills landscape, see our Prescribed Fire Brochure.
"Most people who know longleaf won’t see much when they take a hike or drive through our Calloway Forest Preserve in the Sandhills of Hoke County. It's not terribly diverse, it was abused by the previous owners, and is a mish mash of longleaf pine stands. But to me, someone who loves to restore longleaf, I see a hundred years of potential in the making. Calloway reminds me of a block of stone that when chipped away you know there is a beautiful sculpture underneath. Once we apply prescribed fire, smart forestry practices, and manage our young longleaf plantations we'll end up having one of the better mature longleaf savannas in the Southeast. TNC didn’t inherit an old growth longleaf pine stand, we just worked really hard, sweated, cussed, and waited patiently as we chipped away the stone that didn't belong." - Sandhills Stewardship and Fire Manager Mike Norris
Longleaf pine forests once stretched 90 million acres from Virginia to Texas. Harvested for lumber, turpentine, tar and pitch, this vast forest began to decline rapidly in the 19th century, and today a mere 3% of the original range remains. You can see what these ancient woodlands once looked like by visiting Calloway Forest, a longleaf pine forest in the Sandhills. Many wildlife species depend on the openness of longleaf pine forest to forage and raise young.
Due to fire suppression efforts in the late 20th century, much of the open longleaf pine forest became overgrown with hardwoods such as scrub oaks and has hampered the growth of natural plants and trees, as well as, caused a decline in bobwhite quail and red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Management efforts have reintroduced fire into this landscape through prescribed burns that reduce hardwoods and encouraged the growth of fire dependent species such as wiregrass and longleaf pine.
What to See: Plants
- Longleaf pine forests
- Michaux's sumac
- rough-leaf loostrife
What to See: Animals
- Red-cockaded woodpeckers
- migratory songbirds
- fox squirrels
Plan Your Visit
The preserve is open to visitors year-round. Contact our Sandhills Project Office at (910) 246-0300 for more information about Calloway.
*Please be aware that hunting is allowed during the season.*
From Fayetteville or Raeford, take US 211 West. Look for Calloway Road on the left. The park is on the right, a tenth of a mile past Calloway Road. From Aberdeen, take US 211 East. The park entrance is on the left, three miles past the B.P. gas station.