Tucked away in North Carolina's Gate County near the community of Gatesville, Merchants Millpond State Park offers 3,447 acres of outdoor fun and relaxation. If you're looking for somewhere to take a pet-friendly camping vacation, this gorgeous spot should be high on your list.
Nestled among towering bald cypress trees and beech groves, the park is home to the calm and shallow waters of Merchants Millpond. The best way to explore this southern swamp is by paddle, making this region a very popular spot with canoeists.
A boat ramp and pier near the parking area provide the perfect water access point, and there are marked paddle trails to escort you away from the visitor center to the canoe-in campsites. Canoes, paddles, and life vests are also available for rental in the park, and anglers can try their luck catching largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, and more.
When you're ready for a break from paddling, nine miles of trails stretch their way through the park and allow you to explore the varied habitats on offer. Trail lengths range from 0.3 to 6 miles, but all are graded easy to moderate.
If you need to stop for lunch, the A.B. Coleman Picnic Areas is found to the north of the canoe access area. It's well shaded and features tables, one picnic shelter and restroom facilities. Merchants Millpond State Park boasts a number of campgrounds to suit families and groups. There are almost 50 sites on offer and all are pet-friendly.
Of course, to ensure that you and your furry friend are invited back, you'll need to keep your pet leashed and under your control at all times. Showing courtesy to other park users and cleaning up after your dog is also essential.
Merchants Millpond State Park offers a diverse range of terrain and recreational experiences to enjoy. If you ever get the chance, make sure you check it out with your canine companion.