Pettigrew State Park

Trip Advisor

Key Information

Contact Info



2252 Lake Shore Rd, Creswell, NC 27928, United States

Opening Hours



No Fee

Introduction of Pettigrew State Park

Pettigrew State Park offers visitors the chance to explore the 16,000-acre Lake Phelps and the area around it on foot or by boat. Boaters using kayaks, canoes, and shallow-draft boats will find convenient launch places, and the fishing is famous. Boaters have access to the calm Scuppernong River nearby as well. Bicycles are permitted on the majority of the pathways, which weave past some of the oldest, most beautiful trees in the coastal region. In close proximity to park facilities are a 13-site family campsite, a group campground, and picnic areas that make full use of a grassy lawn and a shady cypress grove. The park is historically significant and contains the burial of a Confederate officer as well as an exhibit of old American Indian dugout boats.

phelps lake Pettigrew State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

Campsites in Pettigrew State Park

Cape Hatteras KOA

The Cape Hatteras KOA is a resort, not simply a campsite. The Atlantic Ocean and the Pamlico Sound will be all around you while you unwind and enjoy this beach. Visit the adjacent Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to see birds and loggerhead turtles, do kiteboarding or windsurfing, or take a trip to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Retire to Cape Hatteras KOA’s resort-style luxuries to cool off in the pool and on the double water slide, unwind in the hot tub area, and get a bite to eat at the poolside cafe. Events and activities unique to the summer season include tie-dyeing, live music, movie evenings, and more. Wi-Fi, cable TV, a dog park, and the ability to buy firewood and gas are all provided as on-site amenities.

First-come first-served

Pettigrew State Park Campground

The 13 individual campsites at the tiny campground at Pettigrew State Park are first-come, first-served. These campsites are accessible to those with disabilities and are suited for tent campers, trailer campers, and RVers. There are no dump stations or connections accessible for RV users in the park. A grill, picnic table, and fire pit are provided at every campsite. Pets are welcome to accompany visitors at no additional cost, but they must be leashed at all times. The campsite has a shared washroom with hot showers and flushing toilets. The washhouse is closed in the winter, however there are facilities adjacent to the park office. For shared usage amongst the sites, there are three water spigots positioned around the campground. The nearest water spigot is around 50 feet away. The distance from a visitor’s campground to the lake’s coast is around 1300 steps.

Group Campgrounds

A group camping spot is offered for guests that want more rustic camping. This location, which is surrounded by a lovely forest, has space for up to 26 guests and five automobiles. The camping facilities include four picnic tables, barbecues, pit toilets, and tent pads. A water source is located 170 feet from the camping area. Campers must park in the parking lot and travel the final 400 feet to their campsite because this campground is a hike-in location. This campground is perfect for group camps that emphasise survival and outdoor education. Additionally, a group shelter that can hold up to 48 people and 45 cars may be hired for family gatherings and other events. Four picnic tables, a grill, and a fire pit are all part of the amenities. The lake is 1,000 feet distant, and water and bathrooms are close by.

Pettigrew State Park Activities


One mile of the Bee Tree Trail, which starts at the park office, meanders through Somerset Place and the campsite. The walk leads to Bee Tree Overlook, a wooden platform with a view of the lake and a location to see wintering waterfowl, after meandering through a sweetgum forest. The Pettigrew Family Cemetery is accessible through a small walk that runs between the Bonarva site and the canal.

From the park headquarters, Moccasin Trail travels northwest for about three miles to Moccasin Canal. The route passes through a cypress and hardwood forest before coming to a 350-foot boardwalk that leads to Moccasin Overlook by cutting through a cypress swamp. One of the most stunning views in the region is this one of Big Point. From the viewpoint, the Morotoc Trail continues to Cypress Point.

A little route leads to an observation tower and a management area for carnivorous plants in the Pocosin Natural Area. For distance and level of difficulty, consult the park map.


Lake Phelps’ shallow, clean water is inviting for swimming. Visitors can take advantage of the approved swimming area, which is close to the Lake Shore Trail, as well as the picnic area on the park’s northern edge. There is a pier with two stairs in the swimming area so that both adults and little children may readily reach the water. At the end of the pier, there is seating where parents may relax and watch over their children while they swim. Parents and guardians are in charge of overseeing their children’s swimming time because there are no lifeguards on duty. During the usual park hours, campers and day visitors can swim in the lake. Pets cannot be brought into the water and swimming is free.


There is plenty of space for motor boats, rowboats, canoes, and kayaks to explore Lake Phelps. Shallow draught boats may sail on the lake under perfect circumstances. Use the launching and docking facilities behind the park office or launch a canoe from Cypress Point. The Scuppernong River may be accessed from two N.C. Wildlife boat ramps. Paddlers get the opportunity to see the local ecosystem up close on the canoe paths on Lake Phelps and the Scuppernong River.

boating at Pettigrew State Park
CC: Social Channel of park


As you travel by bike to Somerset Place State Historic Site, take in the stunning countryside. Bikers may ride around the park to all the attractions and the numerous picturesque views.


Another well-liked activity in Pettigrew State Park is birding. Visitors may witness over 50 different bird species in the park, including the great horned owl, at birding activities held there. The lake and the nearby agricultural fields are used by groups of geese, swans, and other waterfowl to roost and feed throughout the fall and winter months when birders visit the park. Starting with the first full moon in November, tundra squadrons can be seen flying overhead. RVers who want to birdwatch should visit this campground!


In the summer, Lake Phelps is teeming with fish. Fish of all kinds, including largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, gar, catfish, pumpkinseed, and brim, can be caught. The lake is approximately 26 miles in circumference and nine feet deep on average. For wade fishermen, who can access the lake from the Pocosin Overlook, this depth is excellent. There is a wonderful fishing pier beside the Cypress Overlook if you want to fish from land. You may utilise your kayak, canoe, or shallow-draft boat to fish if you want to do it on the lake. You can hire a boat in the park if you don’t own one. Excellent fishing may be found in the park’s ponds and on the banks of the Scuppernong River. To fish in the park, you must possess a valid fishing licence and abide by the regulations set forth by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.


Visitors can utilise any of the two picnic shelters at Pettigrew State Park. Both the picnic shelter on Cypress Point and the picnic shelter by the park office on the north side of the lake each include two picnic tables. There is a grassy lawn where kids may play, and there is a barbecue at each picnic table. Cypress trees in a large grove give adequate shade for picnickers while they take pleasure in eating and mingling outside. Near the picnic area are restrooms and drinking fountains. Unless they are allocated for a price, picnic areas are first come, first served.

Historic Sites

James Johnston Pettigrew’s burial, one of the great Confederate generals, may be found a mile east of Somerset off the old carriage route. The family of Gen. Pettigrew, after whom the park is named, made a lasting impression on the state’s history. At the Battle of Gettysburg, General Pettigrew led the famed assault of the North Carolina soldiers over Cemetery Ridge to the “high water mark” of the South.



Just west of Creswell, Pettigrew State Park is situated close to the coast of North Carolina. The park is located around 152 miles east of Raleigh, the state capital of North Carolina, 59 miles west of Nag’s Head in the Outer Banks, and 77 miles east of Greenville. Drivers will utilise US-64 to access the minor roads coming into the park from all directions. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, the park is simple to locate because to its well-marked access routes. Larger RV drivers won’t encounter any issues getting to or through the campground. Day visitors can park conveniently adjacent to the park office.


Parking is available.

Public Transport

Public Transport is available.

Pettigrew State Park Photos

Pettigrew State Park Map