What to do in Merchants Millpond State Park

Discover one of the state's most scenic and rarest ecological communities. Massive cypress and gum trees dripping with Spanish moss form a canopy for the dark, acid waters of the millpond. This is a wilderness sanctuary for wetland wildlife.

Park Hours: November-February 8 am-6 pm; March, October 8 am - 7 pm; April, May, September 8 am - 8 pm; June-August 8 am - 9 pm. Office hours: 8 am-5 pm Monday through Friday. Gates will remain locked, except in emergency situations, when the park is not in operation. Please plan accordingly. The park is closed Christmas Day.

Canoeing and fishing are favorite past-times at Merchants Millpond. Drift idly along the smooth, dark surface and enjoy the many sights and sounds of the forest. There are two interesting trails totaling nine miles.
Picnicking is available, providing 10 tables and five grills. Four types of camping are offered: Family, Group, Backpack and Canoe.

Interpretive programs are scheduled on a regular basis all year with the majority of the program in the spring and fall months. Guided hikes and other special programs are available all year upon special request. Contact the park ranger for dates of scheduled events.
Environmental Educational Learning Experience (EELE)–Leave it to Beaver-Grades 4, 5, 6. Introduces students to basic animal characteristics, focusing on the beaver. Majors concepts covered include: adaptation, habitat, habitat use, beaver-human comparisons, animal sign and stewardship.

Snack and drink vending machines are available in the canoe rental area.
Trails at the park are not accessible for wheelchairs, but parking, pathways, and restrooms at the park office and family campground are accessible. There is one accessible campsite as well as an accessible picnic table in the picnic area. The Interpretation and Education building and the toilet facility in the canoe rental area are also wheelchair accessible.

Safety Note: Merchants Millpond is heavily infested with ticks during the warmer months. Insect repellent may help prevent tick bite and possibility of disease.

The park is located in northeastern North Carolina in Gates County near the community of Gatesville. Follow US 158 east of Gatesville. Turn right off US 158 onto SR 1403. The park is located 1.5 miles south of US 158.

Winter daytime temperatures average above 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures range above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 48 to 52 inches (122 to 132 centimeters).

Route 1, Box 141-A
Gatesville, NC 27938

Phone: 252-357-1191

Fax: 252-357-0149

Email: memistatepark@coastalnet.com
  • Merchants Millpond State Park Travel Q&A