NC Parks: Pettigrew State Park

Pettigrew State Park was a interesting one. A little over an hour from us, it made the perfect morning trip with plenty of time left for relaxing in the afternoon. But as I searched the park’s address (to make sure we were going the right way), I stumbled upon people commenting how the park was haunted by WEREWOLVES.

Yes. Werewolves. Apparently something came out on one of the travel channel’s last year about the park. We didn’t see any werewolves (though I could definitely picture it) during our visit but we saw lots of other neat things.

Pettigrew in Creswell, which is this super-small town, and surrounds Lake Phelps. It’s one of the last old-growth forests in eastern North Carolina with bay trees, sweetgum, pawpaw, persimmon, bald cypress and poplar. At least 30 dugout canoes have been discovered in Lake Phelps, one of which was 4,400 years old!

We started out from the main office (which was closed but they left prestamped pieces of paper for our passport book), going down the Bee Tree Trail. Robb had originally suggested taking extra clothing for a swim, but I said no, figuring that it wouldn’t be a great area to swim.

I was wrong.

The water was clear and super shallow. I rolled up my pants, stepping down into it and found the temperature great. It would have been perfect for us. Even though I had extra clothes for Caleb and was wearing clothing suitable for swimming, Robb wasn’t, so we moved on.

When we arrived at Pettigrew, I already knew that Somerset Place, a historic plantation located nearby, was having an event that day. I just didn’t know that we would run smack into it. One trail ended and we had to cross the plantation to pick up the next piece of trail. It was neat getting to see some of the sights though and it allowed us the opportunity to let Caleb out of the backpack and run around.

One of the neatest things about Pettigrew was visiting the Pettigrew family cemetery. I love cemetery’s. Anytime I go visit some place new, I MUST visit a cemetery. You were also able to see the original home site where the Pettigrew house stood before it burned down.

There were also lots of paw paws (not yet ripe) and I spotted a mulberry tree just beginning to ripen. We scared up quite a few deer and turtles, but nothing else (thankfully).

All in all, Pettigrew State Park is one of those parks that I can see us definitely visiting again when Caleb is older. None of the trails are particularly taxing or cover rough terrain and the ability to swim is wonderful!