At 16,600 acres, 5 miles across, and about 4 feet deep, Lake Phelps is a part of Pettigrew State Park that has long been considered a treasure by boaters and anglers. In 1985 researchers began to prize it for other reasons. Discovered underneath the sand in the beautifully clear water were ancient Native American artifacts, including 30 dugout canoes, one of which dates back some 4,400 years. Two are displayed in the Pettigrew Park information center. The park also includes
a boat ramp, canoe launch, fishing pier, and camping sites. it's 56 miles west of Nags Head via I–64.