The Weetock Trail is located in Jones County in Eastern North Carolina along the western edge of the Croatan National Forest approximately 11 miles north of Cape Carteret on Hwy-58. The 11 mile trail was conceived and blazed by members of the Carteret County Wildlife Club during 2001-2003. The trail is almost circular. The southern terminus is on Highway 58 just north of Hillfield Road and directly across the highway from the Davis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. The northern end is just off Highway 58 on the Haywood Landing Road.
Weetock is the original Algonquian name of the White Oak River which the Trail follows between Long Point and Hayward Landing.
Making almost a complete circle, from the Southern trail terminus on Highway 58 just south of the Hillfield Road it 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.
Due to the proximity of the trail to archeologically sensitive areas and other administrative issues the U.S. Forest Service has not officially recognized the trail. As such improvements and maintenance activities are proceeding slowly.
One other club from the Jacksonville NC area has been working with the USFS for quite sometime to enable the Weetock trail to become an officially recognized trail. It continues to be a work in progress.
Since the completion of the trail survey and marking, rules have changed, and red tape has increased. Historical research has discovered numerous interesting things about this area of the Croatan. It’s a beautiful part of the forest with lots of hardwoods and hills that are surprising to find in the Croatan. Work continues with the USFS to achieve official trail recognition. For more information contact Daniel Baumgartmer at 910- 545 1481.