Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Merchants Mill Pond Paddle and Camp

Last week we hauled our canoe and tent over to Merchants Millpond State Park and enjoyed some very fine camping and paddling.

One day we paddled east through the millpond, through Lassiter swamp and up Bennett's Creek for about two miles before turning around. The high water this year made the paddle up Bennett's Creek a record setter, beating by far (almost a mile I reckon) our previous attempts. Highlights were lunching on an old, now flatten, beaver lodge and spotting a yellow-crowned night heron.

The next day we put in for the first time at the Gatesville dock/ramp and paddled up the Bennett's Creek Paddle Trail to the Merchants Millpond dam and back. Another great paddle with many beaver lodges, jumping fish, and another great lunch at the turn-around. This paddle trail also has a couple of platforms for canoe-camping.

In the map below, the first paddle is the green line; the second the red line. Our campsite is circled in yellow and the orange X marks our favorite lunch spot.

Merchants Millpond State Park Map

Hanging out back at camp after a day of paddling.
Campsite #19 - Merchants Millpond State Park - near Gatesville, NC

Fav lunch spot; although this photo was taken while we had only stopped for a snack and leg stretch....Our canoe is barely visible at the water's edge.
Fav Lunch Spot - Merchants Millpond State Park - near Gatesville, NC

We startle a goose.
Goose! - Merchants Millpond State Park - near Gatesville, NC

Near the point where Lassiter Swamp ends and Bennett's Creek begins.
Entrance to Bennett's Creek - Merchants Millpond State Park - near Gatesville, NC

This old remnant of a beaver lodge on the upper section of Bennett's Creek made a perfect lunch spot.
Lunch on Bennett's Creek - Merchants Millpond State Park - near Gatesville, NC

Somewhere up Bennett's Creek.
Somewhere Up On Bennett's Creek - Merchants Millpond State Park - near Gatesville, NC

Second day's lunch spot was at the turnaround; that is, eastern put-in of the paddle trail.
Merchants Millpond State Park - Bennett's Creek Put-in

Part of the canoe camping platforms on the Bennett's Creek Paddle Trail.
Canoe Camping Platform - Bennett's Creek Paddle Trail - near Gatesville, NC

The Gatesville dock.
Bennett's Creek Floating Dock - Gatesville, NC



And all of the flickr photos are here.

Monday, April 01, 2013

A New Look

The blog has been redesigned with a new cleaner look and tools that make it easier to find things:
  • there is a blog search box on the right-hand side
  • posts are listed by country and topic on the right-hand side
Comments and corrections welcome!