Let's get to Merchant's Millpond before the ticks are out in FULL force!
www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/memi/main.php (visit this site to learn a bit more about the park and make your reservations).
T HOGers: Please read the ENTIRE post if you wish to attend
This is an EXPLORATORY regional, overnight trip to Merchant's Millpond and Lassiter swamp in north eastern North Carolina where you can bring your own kayak or canoe and join us- OR rent a canoe from the state park and paddle along! Canoe rental is $20.00 for a 24 hour period and includes your paddle and PFD HOWEVER- there is only one canoe guaranteed to be available per campsite and after that canoes are rented on a first come first served basis. Each person is responsible for himself but there will be some informal group plans, as well. So- participants should be flexible and not expect to be closely guided but still enjoy being in a group!
We will paddle around the millpond, Lassiter swamp, and explore the area then in the afternoon, paddle to our campsite where we will stay the night. There are pit toilets and fire pits at the campground- no showers and no potable water. Each individual is expected to bring (in the canoe or kayak) his or her own camping gear, food, drinking water, and any other necessities for an evening out. Fires are allowed- as far as I know there is no firewood quarantine in effect for our area or the area around Merchant's Millpond- but if you plan to bring firewood you may wish to look into it further to ensure you are OK to move the wood without also transporting insects that could cause problems in that region.
The next morning, each individual can leave at his or her own pace- there is no particular plan for a group paddle that day, so participants can plan amongst themselves and leave directly from there back to the car or spend some more time paddling. (Rentals are for 24 hours if camping). Then, return the canoes, load up the kayaks and return home to the Triangle. Another option is hiking some on Sunday, because there are a few miles of trails in the park, as well! (all trails rated as easy because of no elevation change).
IMPORTANT: In order to attend-
1. each person has to reserve his or her OWN campsite at the millpond (we are at the regular canoe in campground- not the Bennett's Creek canoe in sites) and make arrangements for his or her OWN boat. There will be a single canoe guaranteed available per campsite, but after that canoes are rented on a first-come, first-served basis. If you do need a canoe, call the park and let them know the campsite you have reserved and tell them you will be needing to rent a canoe to get there. There are 6 persons allowed per site and 3 persons allowed per canoe (it may be tight with three persons AND all of your gear) so participants may wish to phone or e-mail amongst themselves to share a site or a canoe.
2. Each person must have some experience in a kayak or canoe or be entirely willing and physically capable of trying for the first time without expecting assistance from the organizer. This is flat water (easy) but swampy so some navigation around obstacles will be required. There are big beautiful cypress trees draped in moss and the potential of seeing a variety of wildlife! (especially birds).
3. Each person is responsible for his or her own transport to the Millpond- which is ~160 miles from the Triangle. (Carpooling is encouraged! use the message board below for making arrangements, if you like).
Please RSVP only AFTER you have reserved or made arrangements for your campsite and have a plan for your boat and post a comment stating you have done so. Thank you! Reservations for camping can be made online.
If there are any questions, please feel free to send me a message!