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An "enchanted forest," primitive species of fish relatively unchanged over millions of years, towering bald cypress trees with massive trunks, luxuriant growths of Spanish mossthis is Merchants Millpond State Park. Here, coastal pond and southern swamp forest mingle, creating one of North Carolina's rarest ecological communities. Together with upland forests, these environments create a haven for wildlife and humanity alike. Escape the hectic pace of life and find sanctuary in a canoe. Drift along the smooth, dark surface of the millpond and savor the many sights and sounds that come alive in the stillness of the forest. Journey into remote and undisturbed Lassiter Swamp, a place that embodies the spirit of adventure, and see what you can discover. If canoeing is not for you, fish for game species. Choose from an assortment of camping opportunities or enjoy a picnic beside the millpond. The remarkable surroundings of Merchants Millpond State Park lend themselves to a variety of activities.

hiking
17 days ago

Enjoyed the beautiful scenery on a mild November day. The trail was not busy at all, only saw three people on the trail. Will go back when I have more time to take it all in and to check the other trails in the area.

Four stars because it's mostly quite beautiful, but some trails are a bit too overgrown for safety in a swampy, snakey, buggy area during the summer.

hiking
4 months ago

Great intro trail to hiking and backpacking. Our Scout Troop hikes this and the other trails at Merchant's Mill Pond State Park on a regular basis. We visit all year long, although the fall and winter are my favorites. During the late spring you need to prepare for red bugs (chiggers.) I also have some good snake pictures, mostly red bellied water snakes and black tree snakes. There are several options for camping and we will combine multiple trails to get a hike that matches our desired length.

walking
4 months ago

This is a nice short loop that we often combine with other walks. Great place to stop and walk when you are in the area.

Great intro trail to hiking and backpacking. Our Scout Troop hikes this and the other trails at Merchant's Mill Pond State Park on a regular basis. We visit all year long, although the fall and winter are my favorites. During the late spring you need to prepare for red bugs (chiggers.) I also have some good snake pictures, mostly red bellied water snakes and black tree snakes. There are several options for camping and we will combine multiple trails to get a hike that matches our desired length.

Great intro trail to hiking and backpacking. Our Scout Troop hikes this and the other trails at Merchant's Mill Pond State Park on a regular basis. We visit all year long, although the fall and winter are my favorites. During the late spring you need to prepare for red bugs (chiggers.) I also have some good snake pictures, mostly red bellied water snakes and black tree snakes. There are several options for camping and we will combine multiple trails to get a hike that matches our desired length.

backpacking
4 months ago

Great intro trail to hiking and backpacking. Our Scout Troop hikes this and the other trails at Merchant's Mill Pond State Park on a regular basis. We visit all year long, although the fall and winter are my favorites. During the late spring you need to prepare for red bugs (chiggers.) I also have some good snake pictures, mostly red bellied water snakes and black tree snakes. There are several options for camping and we will combine multiple trails to get a hike that matches our desired length.

walking
4 months ago

Great intro trail to the local trail system. We hike this and the other trails at Merchant's Mill Pond State Park on a regular basis. We visit all year long, although the fall and winter are my favorites. During the late spring you need to prepare for red bugs (chiggers.) I also have some good snake pictures, mostly red bellied water snakes and black tree snakes.

8 months ago

took the family out and it was a blast

Great canoe in camping then take a nice quiet hike through the woods. Looks like a great place to find some large largemouth but didn't bring a pole.

birding
1 year ago

Hi

hiking
1 year ago

Great place to hike. Watch out for snakes during the warmer weather. It also has backpack camping half way around.

A favorite area to hike. Beautiful cypress trees. Canoe to the camp sites and hike from there. Canoe back the next day. You can rent a canoe, there. Alligators have been spotted in the Millpond so always be alert. Lots of wildlife.

If you go in the summer, be sure to take appropriate precautions with insects, especially ticks and chiggers. Take a mosquito net to help keep your sanity while hiking and at camp.

Almost every time I've hiked this trail I've camped and there always seems to be a Bobwhite calling throughout the night. That, along with the endless frog croaking (really something spectacular), make the atmosphere of the Millpond a very rare experience. There's nothing quite like it.

hiking
3 years ago

This was a beautiful little loop trail. The kind you wish would last longer. It follows the Cyprus trees along the edge of the lake for about a third of the way. But if you do it as an out and back it is about two thirds of the way.

There are at least 13 miles of trails in the park that I have enjoyed. All of the trails visit beautiful Cyprus swamp, creek or lake.

hiking
3 years ago

What a beautiful trail. As you face the visitor center go to the far left corner of the parking lot. Take the trail down the hill. When you come to the Lassiter Trail, turn right and follow it all the way to Millpond Road. One option is to turn around and follow the Bald Cyprus lake back the way you came. But to finish the loop, turn right on Millpond Road and right again toward the visitor center.

nature trips
3 years ago

What a place to watch the day go by. I sat by the Millpond for a few minutes between trails.

hiking
3 years ago

A nice little trail. It is an easy trail with benches about every half mile. It seems like the forest keeps changing moods. Light and dark; pine, hardwood and cypress; level and bouncing up and down; the surface of the trail itself goes from moss to leaves to sand to pine needles.

I love the far side of the bridge. There are a million crazy colors in the water.

hiking
3 years ago

While all the trails in the park offer some cypress swamp, this trail is cypress swamp scenery most of the way around. There is an observation platform half way around with even better views.