Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville

#10 of 13 in Nature in North Carolina Coast
Merchants Millpond State Park is a North Carolina state park in Gates County, North Carolina, in the United States. Located near Gatesville, in North Carolina's coastal plain, it covers 3,447acre around a 200-year-old, 700acre millpond and Lassiter Swamp. Canoeing is one of the park's major attractions. Alligators live in its large cypress swamps.
Settlement in the Gates County area began in 1660. Residents of early rural communities made a living by farming and lumbering. In the early 18th century, Hunters Millpond was built at the head of Bennetts Creek to provide a means of processing and marketing regional produce. Highway construction destroyed this millpond in 1922. But further downstream, Norfleets Millpond, which was built in 1811, thrived. Gristmills, a sawmill, a farm supply store and other enterprises made the area the center of trade in Gates County. Thus, the pond became known as Merchants Millpond.
Shortly before World War II operations around the millpond came to a halt and millers sold the land to developers. In the 1960s, A.B. Coleman of Moyock purchased the property and later donated 919acre, including the millpond, to the state. His generous donation led to the establishment of Merchants Millpond State Park in 1973. In the same year, the Nature Conservancy contributed an additional 925acre of woodlands to the park that now encompasses more than 3250acre.
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Merchants Millpond State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
67 reviews
  • My daughter visited this park last summer and told me it is a must visit, now I know what she meant. The Visitor Center is very nice with a friendly staff. The exhibits are very nice but when you get ...  more »
  • Not much was said about this attraction on maps and such, but when we went past the "brown sign" announcing a state park, we decided we would stop and check it out! Turns out that was one of the best ...  more »
  • First, this place had the cleanest bathrooms I've ever seen at a park! The camp areas, the canoes, everything showed the care that the staff puts into this place. Secondly, do canoe the pond. The Cyprus we're haunting and beautiful, the water smooth. Come in the spring or fall to see the gators sunning! Lastly, this is a great launching point to visit areas like the Outer Banks or Norfolk. It's all close from here and you'll have a peaceful quiet place to come back to. Loved our stay and will definitely come again!
  • Great campsites. Be careful because the measurement of the tent pad is with wooden border. Long trail and very easy. All sites are well shaded and bathrooms are clean enough. Wood is expensive but gathering is allowed. Gas station located right outside of park in case you forget anything.
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Side trips from Gatesville

Duration: 2​h
Duration: 2​h
Duration: 2​h