The Weetock Trail

General Information

The Weetock Trail is located in the western Croatan National Forest and was conceived and blazed by members of the Carteret County Wildlife Club in 2001-2003. The trail is almost circular. The southern terminus is on Highway 58 just north of the forest's Hillfield Road or directly across the highway from Davis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. The northern end is just off Highway 58 on the Haywood Landing Road.

In 2007 a large portion of the southern part of the trail was re-routed by the US Forest Service. Wildlife Club members hope that in the near future the original routing of the trail will be re-established.

The following was originally composed by Gene Huntsman, February 2003

Members of the Carteret County Wildlife Club have completed marking a new 11 mile hiking trail in the western portion of the Croatan National Forest just off Highway 58 in southern Jones County. A major purpose of the trail is to provide recreational opportunity to the rapidly expanding populations of western Carteret and southeastern Onslow Counties.

Provisionally known as the Weetock Trail, the new pathway intersects Highway 58 in the Long Point area of the forest just north of the crossroads community of Kuhns and about 7 miles north of Cape Carteret. Weetock is the original Algonquian name of the White Oak River.

Making almost a complete circle, the trail begins (or ends) on Highway 58 just south of the Forest's Hillfield Road, proceeds west for almost two miles on low bluffs along Hunters Creek then proceeds approximately north, somewhat paralleling the White Oak River, for over 5 miles to Haywood Landing, then traverses on bluffs above Holston Creek about 3.5 miles east to the junction of Highway 58 and the Haywood Landing Road.

Along its route the trail passes through, or borders, hardwood ridges, cypress-gum-palmetto swamps, pine flatwoods, beaver ponds, managed wildlife clearings, springs and creeks. Archeological sites near the trail span the breadth of man's history on the Carolina coastal plain and include Native American settlement sites, a cemetery dating to plantation and slavery days, and a giant sawdust pile from the era of cutting the longleaf pine forests that originally covered the area. Sign of bears and wild turkeys is common along the trail, and alligators frequent the adjacent swamps and marshes. Long Point campground and Haywood Landing lie on the trail.

In cooperation with, and at the request of personnel of the U.S. Forest Service, club members expended over 275 man-hours of labor in initial surveys and in placing permanent marks along the trail's route. The permanent markers are one inch by five inch reflective strips cut from aluminum sheeting used in the printing of the Carteret County News-Times and generously donated by the publishers. The same markers, also donated by the News-Times, have been is use for over thirty years on the 22 mile Neusiok Trail (another project of the Carteret County Wildlife Club) in the eastern portion of the Croatan Forest. Although the new trail is completely marked, some parts require further clearing (but many sections are almost sidewalk-passable). Trail users should not be discouraged by occasional brushy areas or downed trees. Hikers encountering obstacles can expect improved conditions ahead. Final approval of the trail's routing is contingent on completion of environmental reviews of the project, but these are expected to be pro forma, and no or few changes in the trail alignment are expected.

Workers unknown to the Wildlife Club or the Forest Service have done an excellent job in clearing several areas along the trail. The Wildlife Club officers would like to know the identity of these workers so that appropriate credit can be given and so that work can be coordinated. Numerous opportunities for youth (Scout, 4-H, etc.) projects exist along the new Weetock Trail. For more information on the trail contact Gene Huntsman at (252) 447-4061.


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