Pettigrew State Park is located in eastern North Carolina on the low-lying peninsula between Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds south east of the town of Plymouth. The park is a bit unusual in that all though it is quite large, over 22,000 acres, most of that acreage is made up by Lake Phelps. The portion of the park that consists of solid ground amounts to around 5,700 acres spread along a narrow band of property surrounding the shore of the lake. Rarely more than a mile wide, the park offers little in the way of a wilderness environment but the natural communities preserved here, including cypress swamps, are teeming with wildlife due to the relatively sparse human presence in this part of the state. Also contained within the park is Somerset Place State Historic Site which preserves numerous buildings once part of a massive 100,000 acre plantation from the early 19th Century.
So, a hike with a little bit of history...one of my favorite kinds. The plan for the day would be to start about midway along the north shore of Lake Phelps and follow the Moccasin Trail and Bee Tree Overlook Trails for about 5 miles through the eastern half of the park. Along the way I'd be stopping by a couple nice overlooks of Lake Phelps, walking through the historic grounds of Somerset Place, and visiting the grave site of a Confederate General. All in all it promised to be an interesting morning on the trail...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 35.804936, -76.444721
Hike Length: 6.5 miles Hike Duration: 2:15
Trailhead Temp: 45'F
Min. Elevation: 8' Max. Elevation: 12'