top of page

Eastern North Carolina

Updated: Apr 24, 2018

Since the weather was cool and breezy (it is spring after all), it wasn't good for kayaking or drone flying. I decided to take a day trip to a park in North Carolina that I have never been to and check out some other sites.


​Pettigrew State Park is in eastern North Carolina. It's about 90 miles south of Norfolk. It is literally in the middle of nowhere. This is the least populous part of North Carolina. The park is located around the edges of Lake Phelps which is the second largest natural lake in North Carolina. (16,600 acres - 5 miles wide) It's unusual because its average depth is only 4.5 feet with the maximum depth at 9 feet. The lake is not fed by a stream so it depends on rainwater, but this also means that the water is extremely clear ... when it's calm. As you will see in the pictures, the water was very grey and muddy looking due to the 30 mph winds out of the west northwest. I think you could probably have surfed on the waves on the lake today. :) It was rough. No boats out today. We need to come back and kayak here. The park also has one of the only remaining old-growth virgin forests in eastern North Carolina. There are many champion trees (read: extremely large) in the park.

Adjacent to the park is a historical site named Somerset Place. It is a restored 1830s plantation. Somerset Place was an active plantation for 80 years and was one of the largest in North Carolina at the time. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. There were a couple of goats presiding over the area.

I also checked out a restored river lighthouse in Plymouth, NC. It is a replica of the original lighthouse that sat here. It is on the Roanoke River which was the main commercial passageway back in the day. The original lighthouse was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1941. It was purchased by a private individual and moved to Edenton, NC in 1955 and used as his residence.

I stopped in Edenton, too. That original lighthouse was restored in 2012 and sits in the river in downtown. Edenton has a nice picturesque downtown which had a fair number of people out on a blustery early May day.