Visitors can explore 16,000-acre Lake Phelps and its surrounding landscape by land or water at Pettigrew State Park. The fishing is legendary and boaters with kayaks, canoes and shallow-draft boats will find easy launch sites. Also, nearby access allows boaters onto the placid, blackwater Scuppernong River. Trails wind past some of the oldest, most majestic trees in the coastal region, and bikes are allowed on most trails. A 13-site family campground and a group campground are close to park amenities, and picnic grounds make good use of a shading cypress grove and grassy lawn. The park is rich in history with a display of ancient American Indian dugout canoes, and the grave of a Confederate general.
Tent and trailer 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. Water and restrooms with showers are nearby.
Some campsites can accommodate RVs. Hookups and dump station are not provided.
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.
Campers are allowed 24-hour access to the park. Please check with the park office during office hours for the after-hours emergency phone number.
The campground is surrounded by a forested area and has easy access to Lake Phelps via a 740-foot boardwalk trail.
Primitive camping facilities include tent pads, a fire ring, vault toilet and potable water.
Hiking and Biking
The park is a great place for a hike! See the Trails page for more information.
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.
Enjoy swimming in the shallow clear waters of Lake Phelps. The designated swim area is located a short walk down Lake Shore Trail, behind the picnic area on the north side of the lake. The swim pier has two ladders so the water is easily accessible, even for small children. The square platform located at the end of the pier has seating, so visitors have a place to relax and keep an eye on swimmers. Lifeguards are not provided; adults and group leaders must provide swimming supervision.
There is no fee for swimming, and the swim area can be accessed during regular park hours by all visitors. Pets are not allowed in the swim area.
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.
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.