Merchant’s Millpond State Park – December 2014

North Carolina also has some nice parks, but I find the Virginia Parks better, like Occoneechee.  But, I wanted to go out and adventure, camping again.

Merchant’s Millpond State Park is about a 90 minute drive from Chesapeake.

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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 moss – this 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.

The camping here was quite good actually, especially considering I had the ENTIRE state park to myself.  Not another soul around, although when I got up in the morning, some folks had driven in to walk their dog.


Like most parks, they don’t want you to bring in your own wood owing to the risk of introducing new species to the ecology.  So, they will sell you some.  I developed the trick of emptying my panniers of all my gear and then making “wood runs” to a shed a minute or so away and too far too walk.  I did this several times on this trip.



As usual, the mule handled wonderfully hauling me and all my gear. Still, I need more practice fully loaded at low speeds.  I was in the middle of the park, which is in the middle of a forest.  It was wonderful and peaceful.  I never did see the pond.


This wood burned very nicely.



For dinner I cooked up some sausage and onions and read beans and rice. It went perfectly with the 32F temperature I had most of the night and the next morning.



Here I am sporting my $1 watch cap.  It’s cheap but does the trick.




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