Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
|Education and Events|
Biking: Enjoy biking through the beautiful scenery along the way to Somerset Place State Historic Site. Bikers can travel through the park to all of the points of interest and the many scenic overlooks.
For a leisurely ride, bike along the National Wildlife Refuge roads.
Boating: Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and power vessels have ample room to enjoy Lake Phelps. The lake offers ideal conditions for sailing in shallow draft boats. Launch a canoe from Cypress Point or use the launching and docking facilities behind the park office.
Two N.C. Wildlife boat ramps provide access to the Scuppernong River. Canoe trails on Lake Phelps and the Scuppernong River offer paddlers the chance to view the area's environment up close.
A canoe trail winds through the park's nearby waterways, offering paddlers the chance to view the area's environment up close.
Camping: Family camping: The family campground is located between the park office and Somerset Place. Thirteen campsites, each with a picnic table and grill, are well-suited for tents and trailers.
The edge of a cypress/sweetgum forest furnishes a shaded area for some of the campsites while others are located in an open, grassy meadow. Water and restrooms with showers are nearby.
Group camping: Opportunities for outdoor learning abound in the group camping area. Located in the midst of a beautiful forest, primitive camping facilities include tent pads, grills and toilets. Water is located nearby.
Education and Events: Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Pettigrew State Park. Click the Events tab on the Park Menu to the left to search our database of park events.
To arrange a special exploration of Pettigrew State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.
Educational materials about Pettigrew State Park have been developed for grades 4-8 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Pettigrew program introduces students to archaeological research and also focuses on the significance of Lake Phelps, hypothesis testing, Native Americans and preservation of cultural resources. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators. To learn more about environmental education or to search our database of upcoming workshops, click the Education tab, above.
Fishing: Lake Phelps is known throughout the state for its bass fishing. The lake teems with largemouth bass, yellow perch and pumpkinseed. Enjoy the challenges of pickerel and catfish as the Algonquians did 10,000 years ago.
From land, try your luck on the fishing pier, boardwalk, or the overlooks at Cypress Point. Wade fishermen can enter Lake Phelps at the Pocosin Overlook. Excellent fishing spots can also be found along the banks of the Scuppernong River, in addition to all of the ponds in the park. Anglers must have a fishing license and obey regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
Picnicking: A large cypress grove supplies plenty of shade for picnicking. Tables and grills are provided with each picnic site, and restrooms and water are located nearby. The grassy field near the picnic grounds creates a great playground for all ages. Individual picnic sites are available on a first-come basis.
Picnic shelters offer a perfect setting for gatherings. The shelter located near the park office includes eight tables; the shelter at Cypress Point offers two tables, restrooms, water and a fishing pier nearby. Use is free of charge unless reservations are requested.
Trails: In the days of the plantation, the Collins family enjoyed carriage rides on a promenade that passed Somerset Place and Bonarva and followed along the shore of Lake Phelps. Today, the carriage road makes up a portion of the Bee Tree Trail. Beginning at the park office, a one-mile section winds past the campground and Somerset Place. After wandering through a sweetgum forest, the trail leads to Bee Tree Overlook, a wooden platform offering a view of the lake and a place to observe wintering waterfowl. Between the site of Bonarva and the canal is a short trail leading to Pettigrew Family Cemetery.
Moccasin Trail leads northwest from the park office for approximately three miles to Moccasin Canal. After traveling through a cypress and hardwood forest, the trail stops at a 350-foot boardwalk, which cuts through a cypress swamp to Moccasin Overlook. This view of Big Point is one of the most impressive vistas in the area. Morotoc Trail continues from the overlook to Cypress Point. Bicycles are allowed on most of the park trails.
The Pocosin Natural Area has a short trail to an observation tower and carnivorous plant management area. See the park map for distance and difficulty.