Fodor's Expert Review Lake Phelps
At 16,600 acres, 5 miles across, and about 4 feet deep, Lake Phelps is North Carolina's second-largest natural lake. It's also part of Pettigrew State Park and 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; Native Americans are believed to have settled here some 8,000 years ago. Two canoes are displayed in the Pettigrew Park information center. The park also includes a boat ramp, canoe launch, fishing pier, and camping sites.