After seeing some of the pictures I decided to call them ask how bad all the algae and overgrowth was and was told it was pretty clear. That was not the case, if you don’t plan on paddling with a kayak or maybe a canoe don’t risk it. I was going to take a Jon boat with a trolling motor and there are countless limbs and the overgrowth is terrible you will not make it through. Not the place to consider going if you want to camp out and fish
Campsites are nice but be careful the wooden borders is included in dimensions. Nice bathrooms with hot showers. Over 5 miles of easy hiking good for everyone. Gas station right outside visitor center entrance in case you forget anything. Not very many people here so its nice and quiet.
This cypress pond is a great place for anyone! They have a family campsite loop with a nice bathhouse in the middle, they have group walk-in and canoe in campsite and well as family canoe in. They have a fishing area and a on site canoe rental. The Millpond itself is huge!! They use a buoy navigational system on the water. No swimming though due to the huge Alligators that live there. Overall this is an affordable and momentous getaway that I visit every chance I get.
Merchants Millpond is a great state park if you want to explore a different kind of ecosystem. The heart of the park lies in its swamps filled with cypress trees and cypress stumps. There are several camping areas of different kinds. You can canoe in to one of their primitive campsites, which is on an island in the swamp. There are other hike-in primitive sites, group camping sites, and there are also the family camping sites. I stayed at the family camping site and decided to set up my hammock instead of a tent. If you stay at Merchants Millpond, make sure you take and use insect repellent and lots of it. I had the biggest problem with mosquitoes and ticks. If you stay in a hammock, make sure it has mosquito netting. The family camping sites have tent pads, lantern poles, and fire rings. The bath house is centrally located within a short walking distance of all of the campsites. The showers have hot water, but the bath house itself looks outdated. The canoe-in site that I explored only has a pit toilet, but it did have fire rings and picnic tables. You can hike to the island by way of a wooden bridge across the swamp, but it is mainly for those who want to canoe in. If you can go off trail, you can see lots of wildlife. I had the opportunity to do so since I was invited to participate in a search and rescue exercise. I only saw one snake, which is unusual not to see more, but I also saw a deer and couple of turtles. There is a bicycle trail, but the one I hiked on the most was the Lassiter Trail, which has a few wooden bridges and opportunities to experience the eastern woodlands and great views of the swampy millpond. Fortunately, I did not run into any bears or alligators, which are common in this area. The visitors center is large and modern, and there is a meeting facility. The person that I talked to at the visitors center was pleasant and was able to answer my questions. The staff is great to work with, and I know this because I volunteered to teach camping skills to 4H kids a couple of years ago at this state park. Overall, it’s a great state park, but it lacks the amenities of modern RV parks.
While this was quite a trek for us from Charlotte, it was worth it. We stayed five nights in March 2018 in the family campground. The site was clean and spacious, easy to maneuver our small (18ft) TT into. Although there are no hook ups, there are water points close to every site, and a centrally located bathhouse. We received enough sunlight during the day for our solar panels to keep any batteries that needed it (including the TT battery) charged up. The staff at the visitors center was incredibly friendly, including the rangers who were eager to answer any questions we may have had. We rented a canoe and toodled around the pond in search of the resident alligator which we found. They do advise of a known tick problem, but with taking the proper precautions we had no problem with us or the dogs. We will absolutely be back.
What a rare and beautiful eco-system the cypress swamp is! The state park offers several camping options: drive in, hike in and canoe in.
Each drive in site has a picnic table, fire ring/grill and tent pad. There are showers, spigots and restrooms for campers staying here. There are three canoe-in sites, two of them have pit toilets and the third requires you to pack out all waste. If you want to enjoy the amenities of the drive-in sites but want to spend time canoeing the pond (which I highly recommend) then that's certainly an option, too.
There aren't many eco-systems like this left so it's absolutely worth checking out.
We were looking for a reasonably quick (one overnight) camping trip that was different, but within a 2ish hour drive. Someone had once mentioned MMSP and so we decided to reserve 2 sites, and overnight canoes. It was everything we hoped for. The visitor's center was surprisingly modern. The check in process was seamless, the ranger gave us some great tips. Canoes are self service (you have to get them off the rack, get paddles and lifejackets yourself). Put in is easy, and they use a buoy system to help navigate to the canoe-in campsites. The cypress trees, swamp flora and fauna are amazing. One of my kids caught a gar, we saw a bald eagle's nest, snakes, frogs, turtles, and lily pads everywhere. Our campsites were not directly on the water. At first we were a little bummed the water front weren't available but it worked out for the best. Our sites were more private, a shorter walk to the pit toilet, and the trees provided a slight buffer from the tremendous sounds of the frogs at night!
I recently visit Merchants Millpond State Park! It was incredible beautiful expertise for me, since I not kayak in a swamp before.
Upon visiting this park, I arrived at the Visitor center with a warm welcome and smile. The lady was very helpful, since I not know the park. She help get me arrange into family campground. Beautiful shaded, spaceless with woods campground with nice hot showers and bathrooms to access to. There are primitive campgrounds, that you need to paddle to in the swamp. I think that be great for people who like to adventure out. I saw these camps, they are setup very nice.
My paddling expertise on the water was awesome, for 2 days. So much nature and wildlife to see! Got beautiful photos of my experience. I admit, this is a beautiful place and I will return again.
I recommend visiting place, is awesome experience!
Our first time to Merchants Millpond State Park was awesome and we're already planning on coming back. We did the canoe-in camping and brought out Hobie kayaks (beware if you bring them our mirage drive seemed to find every downed tree or cypress knob under the water 😜) Buoys marked the different routes to the different areas of the park. Easy to follow. Sites are well maintained and not right on top of each other. All had firepits, grills, and a picnic table. There's a pit toilet towards the back to serve all of the canoe campsites. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I mean, it's a pit toilet but you can tell they kept it up nicely. Extra TP, hand sanitizer, etc. Tons of wildlife to see. Turtles, gators, snakes. Not a place I'd go in the summer because I'd imagine you'd get carried away by bugs but definitely a place to check out in spring or fall.
The 12 trips in 12 months’ progress well. February’s outing was Merchants Mill Pond. What a great place. It probably helps that the bath house had just been redone with fresh paint. But that wasn’t the only thing. The park staff was friendly and the camp sites are nice and spaced well apart. Each site had a fire pit, tent site and picnic table. I am not sure that all the tent spaces were leveled, but if you pay attention when you set your tent up you should be fine.
I happened to be a glorious weekend in February and the temperatures were good enough for a hike in shorts and tee shirts. The trails were well maintained and it was a day well spent on the Lassiter Trail. The park also rents kayaks and there are marked water trails as well. Next trip will include a boat ride and a search for alligators (from a safe distance).
Good hikes, good campground and evenings by the campfire. Definitely on the places to return to list.