Tag Archives: Pettigrew State Park

This weekend: Free ride? 

Milky Way (photo courtesy NASA)

Weird weather (Friday snow in the mountains?) precedes a mellow, springlike weekend. A weekend good for so many adventures, from heeding the advice of Edgar Winter and taking a free ride to gazing into the night sky.


A satellite view of the eastern seaboard at night is startling not so much for the artificial light that illuminates the region, but for the one spot that remains dark: far eastern North Carolina. A blink here and there, but mostly darkness. One night around 11, lying on a gravel road just outside Columbia, we saw the Milky Way with nearly the clarity I’d seen it years earlier camping at 9,000 feet in the Rockies. read more

This weekend: Birding, hiking

Tundra swans over Lake Phelps (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

North Carolina is forecast to be rainy in the east, sunny in the west. Either way, we’ve found plenty of incentive to get out this weekend.


Normally, we don’t get excited about hundreds of thousands of temporary visitors settling in for the season at the coast. But when the season is winter and the visitors are tundra swans, snow geese and assorted ducks, it’s a different story. read more

This weekend: get out and enjoy the rain!

Tundra swans over Pettigrew State Park. photo courtesy NC State Parks

If you’ve got good rain gear, you’re in for a great weekend. One of this week’s picks even comes with coffee!


Tis the season to check out the bird life at the coast, where waterfowl from various points north  are congregating to spend the winter. With the skies so full of feathers, wouldn’t it be nice to know who’s who? Learn to identify the year-round residents and snowbirds at Saturday’s Coffee with the Birds at Pettigrew State Park. A cup of coffee and a knowledgeable birder — what better company for a Saturday morning in early December? read more

This weekend: All paths lead to good times

Not the boat you'll be touring the Scuppernong, but a boat with keen significance to the area.

Leave the driving to a park ranger on a boat trip up the Scuppernong River, hike Hanging Rock with GetHiking! Triangle, or hike into history in the Swannanoa Valley.


Pettigrew State Park offers frequent tours of the Scuppernong River. Usually, those tours are by canoe, a great way to experience the Scuppernong but not everyone’s cup of tea-colored water. Saturday, the park lets you leave the paddling to others on its afternoon Scuppernong River Tour.  One advantage: without having to deal with navigation you can focus on the waterway’s abundant wildlife and natural beauty. read more

This weekend: A proper September sendoff

The Scuppernong. Photo courtesy Mike Dunn

Say goodbye to September with a coastal paddle, a Piedmont adventure race, or a day in the mountains with your heads, thoughtfully, in the clouds.


Perhaps we’ve mentioned this a time or three before; if so, forgive us. But one of our favorite paddles in the state is on the Scuppernong River upstream from Columbia. Wide and open as the river is at Columbia, shortly before giving it up to Bull Bay and the Albemarle Sound, the river just upstream, where it becomes part of Pettigrew State Park, is close and intimate. Perfect for a fall canoe trip. read more