Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
|Education and Events|
Accessible Facilities: Merchants Millpond State Park offers a variety of accessible facilities. Cypress Point Trail, .33 miles in length, is wheelchair accessible. The park also offers an accessible campsite and picnic tables. The interpretation and education trailer is accessible, and accessible restrooms, picnic tables and parking spaces are also available.
Camping: A variety of settings offer camping experiences for large and small groups. Drive to the family campground, paddle to the canoe camping sites or backpack to the primitive sites. Facilities may be limited in winter months.
Family camping: The family campground is in the midst of a pine/hardwood forest just beyond the park office. Twenty campsites for tents and trailers offer picnic tables and grills. A washhouse with drinking water, restrooms and showers serves the campground. There are no electrical hookups, water, or dumping station.
Group camping: Organized groups will enjoy a stay in the walk-in group camping area or in a canoe camping group site. Facilities for the walk-in sites include a small washhouse with a pay shower. Drinking water is available nearby.
Backpack camping: Reach five campsites for backpack camping by hiking a side trail off Lassiter Trail. Campers must pack all supplies, including water, to the sites. A pit toilet is nearby. Views of the "enchanted forest" and Lassiter Swamp await those who travel to the backpack camping area.
Canoe camping: Reach three canoe camps by way of canoe trails leading from the boat ramp. Orange markers lead to the family canoe camp with 10 sites. Yellow markers lead to the group canoe camp, which offers three sites. Pit toilets are available, but campers must carry in all supplies, including water, and carry out their trash. The third canoe camp is located down Bennett's Creek, approximately 4.5 miles from the boat ramp. Bennett's Creek canoe-in campgrounds are carry-in, carry-out with no restrooms.
Paddling: Rent a canoe or bring your own. The best way to explore Merchants Millpond is by gliding across the park's placid, shallow waters. A boat ramp and pier near the parking area offer access to the water. Marked paddle trails lead from the visitor center and boat ramp to canoe-in campsites. Venture out of the millpond and take slow-moving, dark-water Bennetts Creek through Lassiter Swamp. Here, park visitors are transported into a world of mistletoe, hanging Spanish moss and ancient cypress trees.
Canoes and kayaks can be rented by the hour or overnight (for canoe-in campsites) at the visitor center. Canoes, paddles, and life vests are available on a first-come first-served basis. You must be at least 15 years of age to rent a canoe. A maximum of three people may occupy each vessel.
Education and Events: Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Merchants Millpond State Park. Click here to search our database of park events.
To arrange a special exploration of Merchants Millpond State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.
Educational materials about Merchants Millpond State Park have been developed for grades 4-6 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Merchants Millpond program introduces students to basic animal characteristics, focusing on the beaver. Majors concepts covered include adaptation, habitat, beaver-human similarities, animal signs and stewardship. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators. To learn more about environmental education or to search our database of upcoming workshops, click here.
Fishing: Cast your line from the bank or journey into the millpond to fish in a pastoral setting. Small boats (with trolling motors only) may be launched at the boat ramp. Largemouth bass, bluegill, chain pickerel and black crappie are waiting to bite the hook! The Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) manages the millpond fisheries. All boating and fishing regulations of the WRC apply.
Trails: Nine miles of trails with many varied habitats offer a place to stretch muscles left stiff from hours of canoeing. The Fire Road and a section of Lassiter Trail are open to bicyclists. Merchants Millpond is heavily infested with ticks during warm weather months; be cautious while hiking. Insect repellent may help prevent a tick bite and the possibility of disease. Tuck trousers into long socks and tuck a long-sleeved shirt into pants. Check often for ticks. Wear light colors so that ticks may be easily spotted and removed. For other tips, contact park staff.
Picnicking: The shade of large trees offers a place to picnic within view of the millpond. Located north of the canoe access area, the A.B. Coleman Picnic Area has tables, one picnic shelter and restroom facilities. Picnic sites are available on a first-come basis free of charge. The picnic shelter may be reserved for a fee.