banner
Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Winter Park

Posted January 30, 2009 11:29 a.m. EST

What are the best NC state parks to visit in winter? Please share your thoughts.

My first vote would be Pettigrew State Park in Washington and Tyrrell counties. Pettigrew is famous for its wintering tundra swans and snow geese and includes Lake Phelps, which at 16,600 acres, is NC’s second largest natural lake. Here you will find dugout canoes as ancient as the pyramids of Egypt and enormous bald cypress trees. Be sure to check out the scenic and historic Scuppernong River.

My second choice would be Hammocks Beach State Park in Onslow County between Jacksonville and Morehead City. This Bear Island location accessible only by ferry or private boat gives you a look at how coastal North Carolina looked prior to the bulldozers, beach houses and big marinas. Hammocks Beach is well known in the warmer months for loggerhead turtles. Winter camping can be fun here as you enjoy the kayak and canoe trail.

What is your favorite winter park?