Merchants Millpond

Sunbury, North Carolina

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Norfleets Millpond, built in 1811, became a center of trade in Gates County and became known as Merchants Millpond. A.B. Coleman, a paddler and lover of nature, thought the area too beautiful for development. He bought the property and donated 919 acres, including the millpond, to the state. The Nature Conservancy contributed an additional 925 acres of woodlands, and Merchants Millpond State Park was established in 1973. Today the park is more than 3,250 acres. The millpond itself covers 760 acres. Old bald cypress and tupelo-gum trees, displaying Spanish moss and resurrection ferns, grow in and around the pond’s blackwater. Many aquatic plants thrive in the pond. Floating duckweed and water fern often cover much of the water’s surface. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Beaver and otter are common, and alligators are occasionally seen. The east side of the park includes Lassiter Swamp, containing remnants of an ancient bald cypress swamp, and the eerie “enchanted forest” of tupelo-gum trees whose trunks and branches have been distorted into fantastic shapes by mistletoe. This eTrail contains 1 sections of Merchants Millpond from park access off Millpond Road (Gates Co. 1400) and return.

Merchants Millpond Professional Review and Guide

"Norfleets Millpond, built in 1811, became a center of trade in Gates County and became known as Merchants Millpond. A.B. Coleman, a paddler and lover of nature, thought the area too beautiful for development. He bought the property and donated 919 acres, including the millpond, to the state. The Nature Conservancy contributed an additional 925 acres of woodlands, and Merchants Millpond State Park was established in 1973. Today the park is more than 3,250 acres. The millpond itself covers 760 acres.

Old bald cypress and tupelo-gum trees, displaying Spanish moss and resurrection ferns, grow in and around the pond’s blackwater. Many aquatic plants thrive in the pond. Floating duckweed and water fern often cover much of the water’s surface. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Beaver and otter are common, and alligators are occasionally seen. The east side of the park includes Lassiter Swamp, containing remnants of an ancient bald cypress swamp, and the eerie “enchanted forest” of tupelo-gum trees whose trunks and branches have been distorted into fantastic shapes by mistletoe. This eTrail contains 1 sections of Merchants Millpond from park access off Millpond Road (Gates Co. 1400) and return."

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Sunbury
Distance: 10
Skill Level: Easy
Class: Class I
Local Contacts: Gauge information and route specifics are provided for each section in the eTrail.
Local Maps: USGS Merchants Millpond
Driving Directions: Directions to Merchants Millpond

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May 2018