American Locations 5 – Merchant’s Millpond

The trip is from New River, West Virginia, to Stinking Creek, Tennessee, by way of Long Key, Florida.

 Merchant’s Millpond State Park, North Carolina

 

We drove east on Hwy. 58 away from Occoneechee State Park to Hwy. 1, which we took south out of Virginia into North Carolina. We turned east onto Hwy. 158. It was a pleasant sunny drive through more open farmland. There are still a lot of tobacco farms in North Carolina. There are also a lot of solar panel arrays, many more than I’ve seen in most states. This far south with abundant sunshine they must make good sense. East on 158 took us nearly all the way to Merchant’s Millpond State Park. We turned south onto Mill Pond Road into the park.

The park is in a small swamp.

0090_Merchants Millpond SP

 

We walked the trail from the campground to the visitor center.

0111_Merchants Millpond SP

 

We found these distinctive purple berries all over North Carolina, which are called beautyberries.

0112_Merchants Millpond SP

 

When we first arrived there were several people at the campground for the day, but by evening we were the only campers. There weren’t even any rangers. Kind of spooky spending the night alone in the swamp. I sat out by a fire and enjoyed the silence and dark solitude.

Early the next morning I took a 3 mile hike through the swamp.

0091_Merchants Millpond SP

0092_Merchants Millpond SP

0093_Merchants Millpond SP

0095_Merchants Millpond SP

 

Not all the trail was through swampy water.

0096_Merchants Millpond SP

 

Boardwalks were numerous and in good repair.

0098_Merchants Millpond SP

 

This twisted pine caught my eye.

0099_Merchants Millpond SP

 

There were primitive sites for back-country camping.

0101_Merchants Millpond SP

 

There were roads on which you could drive into the swamp.

0103_Merchants Millpond SP

 

The main attraction was the swamp itself.

0106_Merchants Millpond SP

0107_Merchants Millpond SP

0108_Merchants Millpond SP

0109_Merchants Millpond SP

 

Late that morning we packed up and left.

 

Next Location – North River

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