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.
We walked the trail from the campground to the visitor center.
We found these distinctive purple berries all over North Carolina, which are called beautyberries.
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.
Not all the trail was through swampy water.
Boardwalks were numerous and in good repair.
This twisted pine caught my eye.
There were primitive sites for back-country camping.
There were roads on which you could drive into the swamp.
The main attraction was the swamp itself.
Late that morning we packed up and left.
Next Location – North River