ALOHA SAFARI ZOO
The Aloha Safari Zoo is located just down the road in nearby Cameron where you can visit with the more than 400 animals that call this place their home.
The Aloha Safari Zoo's mission is to create a loving home for unwanted, mistreated, and injured animals. The Aloha Safari Zoo is home to over 400 animals. They take in animals that were previously injured, abandoned, abused, neglected, or were unable to be cared for by their previous owners and give them a new home!
Lee Crutchfield currently holds a license for up to 500 animals, although Aloha Safari Zoo tops out at about 450. Lee works non-stop to provide animals a refuge where they can peacefully live out the remainder of their lives. Animals of various species, many of which are exotic, have found a sanctuary in an educational zoo that Crutchfield, his family and a small team of dedicated individuals have labored to create. The zoo is over 60-acres and opened to the public in January 2010.
Lee is passionate about all of the animals. He says “I built everything you see, dug the ponds and all,” he says. The habitats are constructed at hurricane strength and accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Every pen is also equipped with ultraviolet lighting, which helps to provide the animals with Vitamin D.
Caring for the animals is crucial, since many of them have been rescued from poor health and habitats. Three area veterinarians aid the zoo with medical care and health certificate exams. “It’s a unique opportunity and learning experience for the area’s children, families and schools. There are a lot of different species that most people would never have the opportunity to see,” says Brian Garrett, a veterinarian with the Animal Hospital of Fayetteville.
This working zoo is a true family affair. Crutchfield’s mother, father, and sister all have roles in the daily activities. “This is God’s gift to me. Every single day, I get to do the work I love,” says Crutchfield.
The Aloha Safari Zoo is a non-government funded organization. Therefore, we rely heavily on help from people like you!
Field trip season is from March 1st through June 11th for the spring season and August 15th through October 31st for the fall season.
During your visit, guests will explore the zoo and see all the animals we have to offer and every guest will have the opportunity go on the safari ride tour. Also, each group will have the opportunity to attend one of our scheduled keeper talks to hear our zoo keepers share information about specific animals and get an up close look! Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions to keepers as they walk around the zoo! All school tours will also have the opportunity for each student to feed our giraffe Stretch. Groups are welcome to bring a lunch to enjoy during their tour before heading home.
Please visit their website to learn more about hours, ticket prices, and group packages.
Aloha Safari Zoo
Address: 159 Mini Lane, Cameron, NC 28326
Telephone Number: 919.770.7109
Nash and Kollock Streets, Hillsborough
The Hillsborough Riverwalk is a cool and shaded greenway that stretches about 1.8 miles along the scenic Eno River. It is a popular trail for walking, jogging and cycling, and provides pedestrian connections between several neighborhoods.
The greenway’s downtown portion is the primary route of the N.C. Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and the first section of the statewide trail system to be constructed in Orange County. Riverwalk also is one of the few sections of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail located in an urban environment, giving users easy access to restrooms, restaurants and shopping.
The main access to Riverwalk is adjacent to the free Eno River Parking Deck at the end of Nash and Kollock Street. Simply exit the parking lot and you are on a pedestrian bridge that crosses the mighty Eno.
There is much to see and do as you wind along the river sometimes getting a glimpse of a heron fishing or a turtle sunning. And there are signs along the way that identify the many varieties of trees and plants that call this home and some that tell a story of an era mostly now forgotten. Stay on the trail long enough and you will pass under an old railroad trestle that is still in use today. Tarry here a while and a train may pass right over you. Go a little further and the landscape will be transformed into a 20-acre park with a playground, dog park, multi-use fields, picnic tables, picnic shelters, natural areas, a pollinator garden and bee hotels, and restrooms.
And after you retrace your steps it might well be time for a bite to eat and something to drink at the Weaver Street Market.
WEAVER STREET MARKET
228 South Churton Street
The Weaver Street Market is adjacent to the same Eno River Parking Deck where you parked your car. Their many offerings include a food bar and bakery where they make handcrafted bread with organic flours from Lindley Mills in Graham, North Carolina, and from Carolina Ground in Asheville.
Their kitchen staff prepares fresh food daily for their hot bar and salad bar, as well as packaged items like sandwiches and soups for Grab N Go.
And perhaps the best part is their large open-air dining area with tables, chairs, and umbrellas, where you are welcome to bring your purchases and enjoy a tasty and healthy lunch with old or new friends. A favorite gathering place for both visitors and residents and pet friendly too!
And only a few minutes away is a historic speedway
320 Elizabeth Brady Rd.
Walk in the opposite direction along the Eno River Trail for about a mile (3 minutes by car) and you will find the historic Occoneechee Speedway, one of the first NASCAR tracks to open. However it closed its doors for good in 1968 and today is the only dirt track remaining from the inaugural NASCAR season back in 1949.
A farm originally occupied this spot in the late 19th century. The farm was named after the Occaneechi Indians that lived in the area in the late 17th century and late 18th century.
The Occoneechee Speedway once hosted stock car racing legends such as Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson. However the controversial Sunday racing schedule prompted grassroots opposition in Hillsborough and the final race was a Richard Petty victory on September 15, 1968.
In 2003, 35 years after the track closed, local preservationists started restoring the dirt track. They also constructed walking trails with informational posts along the way detailing the tracks history. Through their efforts, signs of racing are becoming evident. Concrete spectator stands and other buildings have been unearthed, and a few hundred feet of the once famous clay track are embedded into the walking trails.
The old facilities that once helped operate the track including the flag stand, ticket office and outhouses are in the process of being restored to preserve them for many years to come.
The Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail is under the care of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and are located beside the Eno River (across the river from the location of the Ayr Mount historic house).
THE NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILROAD
New Hill, North Carolina
new hope valley railway is the triangle’s train offering excursion rides on vintage equipment. in addition to real working trains, there is the north carolina railway museum featuring antique train cars, artifacts, memorabilia and a gift shop.
1983 The Year the organization was chartered.
100% All volunteer staff.
30 Minutes southwest of Raleigh NC.
For more than 100 years, the New Hope Valley Railway carried passengers and freight on its tracks. Originally built in 1904, it first carried timber, and later carried agricultural products such as cotton, corn and, tobacco. Passengers were accommodated on a single mixed train, connecting with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad at Bonsal and other rail lines across the state at Durham.
As the only railroad with direct tracks into the American Tobacco Complex in Durham, Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS).acquired the railroad at the request of one of its major shareholders, the American Tobacco Company. The line provided a ready, in-house means of transporting tobacco in and out of the plant.
A 1945 hurricane flooded Fayetteville and Wilmington and led to the creation of the Jordan Lake Flood Control Project by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was planned for the lake to flood New Hope Valley and subsequently flood the line’s railroad tracks, so the Corps built a bypass line around the east side of what would eventually become the lake. This new line served as a route for construction materials used to build the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant.
In 1983 the East Carolina Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society approached SOU to purchase the rail yard and part of its line, approximately four and a half miles of track from Bonsal to New Hill. The rest of the unpurchased line from New Hill to Durham became the American Tobacco Trail and the part of the line to the south became the current rail access into the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant. The remaining right-of-way was abandoned and the track removed.
In 1983, the the rail yard and the four and a half miles of track it purchased from Southern Railway was changed back to its original name, the New Hope Valley Railway (NHVRy). The nonprofit group first began its volunteer-operated train rides in the spring of 1984 with a somewhat sporadic schedule.
Today the facilities include an outdoor exhibit of historic and heritage railroad equipment dating back to the 1920s, two steam locomotives, more than a half-dozen diesel engines, covered open-air excursion cars for passengers, a working garden railroad (G Scale), and numerous artifacts of North Carolina railroad history. Part of the museum’s educational mission, is to design the rail yard in a way showing visitors what a typical short line railroad looked like in the southern United States in the 1950s.
Some of their exhibits include the Goldston Depot which served the community of Goldston until 1973, the USOX 8707 and the USOX 8707 originally built for military use, a Norfolk Southern wood-sided Caboose now used for parties and small gatherings, a Southern Railway Post Office & Baggage car, and a troop transport built in 1942.
Today the Triangle’s Train chugs along its historic track through the piney woods and over a trestle on an hour-long round trip from Bonsal to New Hill and back to the Bonsal depot. Sit in one of their four open-air passenger cars (with roofs) and enjoy the forest scenery at a leisurely pace.
And if you want more, there are special event ride days that often include food, drinks, music, and other entertainment for families, children and railroad enthusiasts.
8 miles of track for an hour ride out & back and one-hundred percent of the ticket fare goes directly into the museum.
Their famous No. 17 1941 Vulcan Iron Works steam engine may be undergoing regularly required evaluation and re-certification process to maintain compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and will not be operating if this is the case. In the meantime the trains running on our tracks will be pulled by our fleet of diesel-electric locomotives – four open-air passenger cars and a caboose – for a memorable experience our customers have enjoyed for more than 30 years.
While many come to the yard to ride behind their real locomotives, you’ll also find Garden Railroad (G-scale) trains at New Hope Valley Railway most interesting and enjoyable. Visitors can watch the onsite model trains operate on more than 1000 feet of miniature track with tunnels, bridges, plants, trees, houses, churches and its own engine house. There are multiple tracks for several trains to run simultaneously.
THE NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILROAD
3900 Bonsal Road, New Hill, North Carolina 27562
PINEHURST & SOUTHERN PINES
In 1895, soda fountain mogul James Walker Tufts purchased the 6,000 acres of sandy, barren land that would become Pinehurst and its surroundings. He hired prominent landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmstead (who also designed New York City’s Central Park) to create a resort village reminiscent of a New England town. Today you can still wander through the winding streets of historic downtown Pinehurst Village to browse its many boutiques and galleries and restaurants. And there may be no better way to explore the area surrounding the Village center than the way its visitors and residents did over a century ago – on foot. Today, thirty-two of the original thirty-eight cottages that were built in the late 1800s line the streets of this quaint village, a National Historic Landmark. And with the help of the “Village of Pinehurst: A Historic Walking Tour” book, you can follow four carefully planned walking tours, discover details about the homes and other historic buildings, see original photos and learn about the first owners of these beautiful cottages.
THE CAROLINA – PINEHURST RESORT HOTEL
Some say you can feel the spirit of Pinehurst as you turn onto Carolina Vista Drive. This majestic century-old hotel with its sweeping verandas makes you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to an era when elegance defined grand hotels and resorts. When the “Queen of the South,” opened on New Year’s Day in 1901, it was the largest frame hotel in North Carolina at that time.
The main lobby of the hotel is a find in itself and the hallways of the first floor and the lower level are resplendent with photos and memorabilia that even the non-golfer will enjoy. There is also a restaurant in the hotel called the Ryder Cup Lounge. Or you can just sit on one of many of the old rocking chairs on the front porch and enjoy your beverage of choice. And for those who want a full meal service in an elegant setting you can visit the Carolina Dining Room just off the main lobby where you can get a sumptuous breakfast buffet, lunch, and an elegant dinner.
THE RESORT CLUBHOUSE
Over the past century, the Resort Clubhouse has evolved from a modest two-story structure to the expansive and iconic venue that overlooks Pinehurst’s fairways today, one whose architecture has become recognizable world-wide. In 2013, Pinehurst completed a $3.7 million renovation to the member clubhouse, which is adjacent to the Resort Club. The renovation includes an interior redesign and dramatic architectural improvements to the East Veranda overlooking Pinehurst No. 2.
Today the Resort Clubhouse features The Deuce, a lunch destination overlooking the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2, and there is also the 91st Hole, a favorite place to gather after a round of golf. You can also shop for the best in Pinehurst apparel and merchandise in the Pro Shop and have a drink or snack on the veranda.
THE TUFTS ARCHIVES
The Tufts Archives preserves the unique history of Pinehurst, North Carolina from its founding in 1895 to the present and was built in 1975. Its creation was spurred by Richard S. Tufts, grandson of the founder of the village. Tufts Archives is located located in a wing of the Given Memorial Library on the Village Green in Pinehurst and is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM until 5:00 PM (9:30 AM until 12:30 PM Saturdays).
HISTORIC SOUTHERN PINES
SANDHILLS HORTICULTURAL GARDENS
A short drive on the way from Pinehurst to Southern Pines takes you to the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens. In 1978 the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens became a reality with the establishment of the Ebersole Holly Garden. Over the years, additional gardens have been implemented, including the Rose Garden, the Conifer Garden, the Sir Walter Raleigh Garden, the Hillside Garden, the Fruit & Vegetable Garden, and the Desmond Native Wetland Trail Garden. Today the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens cover twenty-seven acres. They are open to the public every day of the year from dawn to sunset and offer an educational adventure to anyone with an interest in plants, nature, and design composition.
DOWNTOWN HISTORIC AREA
The essence of downtown Southern Pines is embodied in its unique array of shops and unique restaurants. This streetscape includes historic buildings that-over the years-have housed an assortment of businesses providing life's necessities and pleasures in colorful and friendly style. The downtown's present vitality is linked to its historic boom in the 1920's, when it first grew rapidly as a center of commerce and resort living. One thing that distinguishes the Southern Pines downtown from that of Pinehurst is its railroad tracks that divide one side of Broad Street from the other side. The working train station was constructed by the Seaboard Airline Railway in 1898 and the station continues to serve passengers today via Amtrak.
The Welcome Center is located in an historic building adjacent to the train station and was once an integral part of the Seaboard Airline Railway property there. It hosts a historic photo display of Southern Pines and offers maps, brochures and other publications outlining many of the cultural, recreational, and business offerings available in this unique town.
THE WEYMOUTH CENTER AND THE CAMPBELL HOUSE
The historic Weymouth Center is just a few blocks from downtown Southern Pines. There you can stroll the Boyd estate which features beautiful gardens, a koi pond, and a marble fountain. There are also splendid walking trails in the meadow to the Weymouth Woods Boyd Tract on Connecticut Ave.
The gardens came into being in the early twenties when Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities was the home of James Boyd, a popular writer during the early part of the last century. The property was acquired in 1976 by the Friends of Weymouth, and the house is now used as a writers’ retreat, as well as for the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. The original gardens were restored by Elizabeth Ives (Adlai Stevenson’s sister) and Helen Greene, an active local gardener.
Directly across the street from the Weymouth Center is the Campbell House and its estate. This beautifully landscaped property is the site of many outdoor weddings and events and is included in the annual House and Garden Tour. The park features a playground, basketball court, picnic tables, a t-ball field with bleachers, a golf practice area and acres of open space. The Train Houses used for adult and youth programs and is available to reserve($).
The core of the house was part of the original Boyd home, built in 1903 on the site of the present Weymouth Center. In the early 20's, portions of the original house were moved across the street to become Jack Boyd's home. The Boyd brothers introduced fox-hunting in the area, and after serving in World War I and II, sold the property to Major Campbell in 1946. Major Campbell had the home faced with valuable old ballast brick from Charleston, SC and created the formal landscaping of the 14 acre property. Major Campbell also built the 65' Train House, located next to Campbell House, to house his model trains.
OTHER PINEHURST AND SOUTHERN PINES ATTRACTIONS
Weymouth Woods State Park – Choose from 1-3 mile hiking trail loops, including one that runs through a bog where you may be lucky enough to see the insectivorous purple pitcher plant! Pets must be on a leash at all times and bicycles are not allowed.
Pinehurst Brewing Co. is located in a renovated 130 year old building formerly known as a steam plant provided power to the Village of Pinehurst at its inception in 1895
The historic Shaw House is located on its original foundation at the crossing of the famed Revolutionary Pee Dee and Morganton Roads at the southern entrance to Southern Pines..
Jordan Dr. Saxapahaw, NC
Saxapahaw, a former mill-town on the banks of the Haw River in the piedmont of North Carolina was originally settled by the Sissapahaw Native American tribe. Since the closure of the mill at the end of the 20th century, Saxapahaw has enjoyed an economic and cultural rebirth, connecting its rich southern heritage with dynamic new initiatives in food, sustainable agriculture, art, entertainment, environmental stewardship and education.
Less than an hour from apex and cary by way of route 64w and then 87n, it is perfect for a relaxing half-day trip to a place where good food and refreshments and a relaxing hike along the river are your only needs and expectations. And maybe the best thing about saxapahaw is that once you park your car (no meters or parking garages) you won’t need it again until you are ready to go home.
Among the worthwhile points of interest there are the Saxapahaw General Store, formerly a convenience store and gas station that had served the community for many years. Today it is a gathering place for locals and visitors alike where they can all enjoy good food, drink, and even get provisions.
The Eddy Pub was born with the intention of being a central gathering place for the community of Saxapahaw. Enjoy chocolate peanut butter cupcakes with whipped dark chocolate ganache frosting and topped with toasted peanut, a specialty of the Village Bakehouse with a cup of special blend coffee at the Eddy Pub.
At Haw River Farmhouse Ales, you can enjoy crafted special brews steeped in Belgian tradition and elevated by local creativity. The brew master says his mugs are full of flavor and native ingredients, more than just something you drink, an experience meant to be shared with those around you. The 3,000 square-foot brewery, located on the ground floor of the rivermill, has a small tasting room and patio just steps away from the banks of the Haw River.
Cup 22 is a beautiful two-level riverside coffeeshop located in the Haw River Ballroom. Gourmet coffee, teas, espressos, frappes, smoothies and locally baked goods both sweet and savory are among their specialties. There are also riverside outdoor decks, and access to walking trails on the river.
Every Saturday, May through August, there is Saturdays in Saxapahaw, including a farmer’s market (5 p.m. to 8 p.m) and live music on the lawn ( 6 p.m. to 8 p.m) featuring some of the best music NC has to offer and a thriving Farmer’s Market with locally produced cheese, eggs, baked goods, flowers, honey, organic meat, and wine. There are also food trucks and activities for children.
Saxapahaw Island Park is conveniently located in the middle of the Haw River and spans 30 acres of walking trails, and has a playground, and a meadow in addition to nearby river access. There are two miles of sandy, easy to navigate trails and also more challenging, windy trails created by wandering fishermen. There are also views of the surrounding river and a nature playground. You can walk there from “downtown” or hop in your car for the 30 second trip to its island parking lot.
Left Bank Butchery is located in the old “drug room” of the mill where dyes were once mixed, offers fresh, hyper-local charcuterie, cut and cured with care. Left Bank is a whole animal butchery focused on local products and sustainable agriculture. All their meat is sourced from farms within a five-mile radius.
The Haw River Ballroom, an intimate music venue that boasts a multi-level space and superb acoustics, is deal for concert-goers and performers alike. The first floor is spacious with high ceilings while the overlooking second and third-floor balconies offer respite from the mosh-pit below. As an added bonus, the balconies also lead to the outside so you can grab some fresh air and sneak in one last view of the Haw River.
Saxapahaw Lake was created by the dam just upriver from town.The dam slows the river here to create what has long been called “Saxapahaw Lake.” The water above the dam is always deep enough to paddle and calm enough for a leisurely up and back paddle. The lack of current makes the lake perfect for beginning paddlers. You can put your canoe or kayak in at the small boat access and explore hidden coves along the riverbank, take in the scenery, and keep an eye out for wildlife. The lake is perfect for an early day paddle followed by good food, ale, and company on the the other side of the road.