Pottery Road Scenic Byway

Pottery Road Scenic Byway

Ben Owen Pottery in Seagrove specializes in traditional wood-fired and contemporary pottery

Length: 43 miles
Driving Time: 50 minutes
Regions: Pinehurst & Sandhills, Greensboro & Winston-Salem

The Pottery Road Scenic Byway travels from the golf resort community of Pinehurst north to Seagrove, home of the nation's largest community of potters.

In the 18th century, seven families from Staffordshire, the pottery center of England, settled within a five-mile radius of each other in the North Carolina Sandhills. Today, their descendants continue to make both traditional and modern pottery. There are nearly 80 potteries in the vicinity of this Byway and several directly along the route.

Your drive begins near the golf resort community of Pinehurst.

Pinehurst Resort, established in 1895 and named for its location in a pine forest, hosts both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open Championships back-to-back in 2014.

From Pinehurst, begin following the Byway by taking N.C. 211 North for 11.5 miles to its intersection with N.C. 705 near Eagle Springs, and then turn right onto N.C. 705 West.

Note the old cedar trees lining the first part of this route where the Byway begins. This portion of the road is known locally as “Cedar Lane.”

Continue on N.C. 705 West for nine miles to the intersection with N.C. 24/27 in the Garners Store community. Then continue three miles north to the town of Robbins.

Formerly known by a variety of names including Mechanicks Hill, Mechanicsville, Elise and Hemp, Robbins was settled sometime prior to 1828. The earlier names came from a mechanic and gunsmith who lived here. Located on the old plank road (built between 1849 and 1854) from Fayetteville to Salem, Robbins was given its current name in 1943 for the owner of a local textile mill. The town also is near the site of what was once one of the world’s largest talc mines. In Robbins, watch carefully as N.C. 705 makes a turn that can be difficult to see.

Leaving Robbins, travel three miles west on N.C. 705 to North Howard Mill Road (S.R. 1456). From this intersection, continue nearly 4.5 miles to the community of Westmoore. A rest area is located just prior to the town on the left.

It was near Westmoore that the first potters settled. The Jugtown community is located 2.5 miles northeast of Westmoore on Jugtown Road (S.R. 1420) off Busbee Road (S.R. 1419). It was established in 1920 by Raleigh artist Jacques Busbee, who made and distributed his pottery nationally from here.

From Westmoore, continue 5.5 miles west on N.C. 705 into Randolph County and the Whynot community.

Whynot received its name because residents couldn’t decide on a name for the post office: “Why not this? Why not that? Whynot!”

Then, travel one-half mile west to Seagrove, where the Byway ends.

Seagrove was incorporated in 1913 and named for a local railroad official. The North Carolina Pottery Center offers detailed information on the many potters in Seagrove.

In addition to pottery studios, the area features a number of things to see and do. The North Carolina Zoo is located about nine miles north of Seagrove in Asheboro. To reach it, take U.S. 220 North to N.C. 159.

Also nearby the Pottery Road Scenic Byway is Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve in Southern Pines. The preserve is home to the last remaining stand of ancient longleaf pines, which covered this region until they were wiped out by logging in 1895. The preserve is a showcase for hardwood swamp forests and includes unique plants and animals, some of which are endangered species.

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