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Magnificent Merchants Millpond and Dreamscape Dismal Swamp Weekend Trip

Merchants Millpond is about 2.5 hours & 145 miles East of Raleigh.  Those attending will split the cost of the event (camping fees).  I will collect money from those that attend the event.  We may get senior citizens price as long as someone that is a senior is there when I sign in otherwise the cost will be a bit more.  Senior price for 3 nights including the reservation fee rounded up is $40.00.

Camp with us from Thurs April 11th through Sunday April 14th in this "enchanted forest," primitive fish relatively unchanged over millions of years, towering bald cypress trees with massive trunks, luxuriant growths of Spanish moss! This is Merchants Millpond State Park. Here, coastal pond and southern swamp forest mingle, creating one of North Carolina's rarest ecological communities. Together with upland forests, these environments create a haven for wildlife and humanity alike.

Escape the hectic pace of life and find sanctuary in a canoe. Drift along the smooth, dark surface of the millpond and savor the many sights and sounds that come alive in the stillness of the forest. Journey into remote and undisturbed Lassiter Swamp, a place that embodies the spirit of adventure, and see what you can discover.

You are responsible for your own boat (canoes are available for campers to rent from the park), gear, food, camping supplies and so forth...in other words you are responsible for yourself.  This trip is not a beginners trip.  You must dress appropriately since the water will still be very cold and you must wear a PFD on all trips and at all times while on the water.  Simply Kayaking is not responsible for anyone attending. If you question whether you should attend this event then perhaps this isn't the trip for you.

We have reserved Group Site #1 which will put the paddlers closest to their canoes/kayaks. Campsite is about 50 yards from takeout area. Pit toilet is available. Canoe/Kayak camping: Yellow markers lead to the group canoe camp, which offers three sites. Marked canoe trails lead from the boat ramp to canoe campsites.

During paddling events the weather and water conditions can be unpredictable for safe paddling conditions. All participants take the responsibility for making their own decisions including: whether to participate in a paddling activity, what you may choose to wear, what equipment you use, the routes you may choose to paddle, whether your skill levels and abilities are appropriate for the activity, and whether weather and water conditions are appropriate for your participation.You also take the responsibility for any guest that you may bring as well. Make the BEST decisions for you and your guests personal safety!!! We want everyone to have a good time, but we mainly want everyone to be SAFE!!!

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  • Denny M

    Great people and paddling, mostly good weather, few bugs and lots of spectacular scenery, laughter, and fun. Thanks especially to Sophie and George for making it such a good trip. It's already on my calendar for next year.

    1 · April 15, 2013

  • Jean T.

    here's a slide show of my photos taken this weekend: I think it'll work?

    https://picasaweb.google.com/jeanctempleton/KayakingClub?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ6-j4Wj_s_ZPA

    April 14, 2013

    • Sophie

      go to photos at the top of the meetup page and click on it...it will guide you thru

      April 14, 2013

    • Sophie

      great pics!! I'll post ours tonight or tomorrow afternoon but will try to do it this eve

      April 14, 2013

  • Sophie

    It has been suggested this become an annual event!!! Let it be said; let it be done!! An annual event it is!!

    April 14, 2013

    • Jean T.

      Yes! But not on the weekend?

      April 14, 2013

    • Sophie

      I actually made it for Wed, Thurs and Fri nights...hope that works

      April 14, 2013

  • Jean T.

    and how do you post that "good to see you?" in red there???? I wanna post it too!

    April 14, 2013

    • Sophie

      Meetup automatically posts the good to see you...

      April 14, 2013

  • Jean T.

    so, I have some photos I want to add to our trip to merchants Pond...how do I add them?????

    April 14, 2013

  • Jean T.

    awesome. Great people, amazing organizers, trusty and conf
    ident guide that took us deep into the dark and scary swamp....all was perfect!

    April 14, 2013

  • Kathy

    An annual event - love the idea!! What a great weekend trip! As Sophie so eloquently stated, this was the BEST group of people ever! George, thanks for leading us through the majestic Bennet Creek twice; it was spectacular. John and George thanks so much for toting all our stuff back to the car. And thanks to everyone for helping me in and out of the boat and Lisa thanks for catching me while i was trying to skate across the boardwalk. Denny, what would we have done without your tent pegs and tiny broom. Thanks everyone for a fabulous weekend!!

    April 14, 2013

  • Sophie

    What a marvelous time!! We had a fantastic weekend!! Paddled Bennet's creek forever and talk about a magical experience! We did lots of hiking, saw bald eagles, bears, turtles, cool frogs, a goose on a nest, alligators...can't get any better than that. Lots of owls hooting. What a great group too! I think this is the best group I've ever camped with in my life. We had an awesome time! Lisa made pumpkin bread and the best peanut butter cookies...thanks for sharing. We had a great leader...George!! Thanks for leading us through Bennetts Creek. Thanks to John and George for making our trip back to the put-in much easier when it was time to leave. Thanks to all that attended for such a wonderful weekend : )

    April 14, 2013

    • Sophie

      Oh, no mosquitos or ticks to be found on this trip. We were pretty much bug free...but the pollen!! Oh my, lots and lots of pollen.

      April 14, 2013

  • Jean T.

    I'll come strolling in mid morning on Friday. Not sure I have room for firewood but would happy to buy some along the way and make a second trip back to my car before settling in. Suggestions as to where to buy some along the way? Or could I just share my boxed red wine with anyone who brings in an extra load for me???? And olives for the cocktail hour?

    April 10, 2013

    • Denny M

      They sell firewood at the drive-in campground.

      1 · April 10, 2013

  • Sophie

    I guess we'll meet at the put-in after we register our vehicles at the office or park HQ. What time do those of you going on Thurs plan to arrive?

    Everyone....YOU MUST REGISTER YOUR VEHICLE FIRST AT THE OFFICE BEFORE UNLOADING YOUR BOATS at the put-in. YOU MUST HAVE A TAG IN YOUR WINDSHIELD FROM THE OFFICE STATING THE LENGTH OF YOUR STAY.

    April 10, 2013

    • Jean T.

      I can't wait! My first camping trip in a long time....look forward to the evening camp fires.....and group story telling!

      April 10, 2013

    • Denny M

      Will do Sophie.

      April 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I won't be joining you guys this weekend. I am working. But we are going up the next weekend. Not looking forward to the ticks and mosquitos though. Are there really alligators there?

    April 10, 2013

  • Jean T.

    excellent list of smaller and easy to forget items...just added a few to my list as well as more chocolate and more goodies to go with my boxed wine! essentials...all of them.....

    April 3, 2013

  • Ron Eugene W.

    20 items easy 2 forget 1) xtra batteries for camera & GPS & flashlight, 2) Headlamp, 3) matches, 4) can-opener, 5) eating uitensils, 6) paddle-float, 7) dura-log/firewood, 8) flashlight, 9) small camp pillow, 10) camera, 11) camp-chair, 12) coffee, 13) backpack or nylon bag to move items to from car to yak to camp, etc. 14) bathroom tissue, 15) soap, 16) dishwashing soap, 17) sunglasses, 18) full brim cap, 19) xtra cook fuel canister, 20) lantern.

    1 · April 3, 2013

  • Jean T.

    It's my hope to keep it small. But I'm a new comer so what do I know! Have bought all the necessary gear and am looking forward to the trip. See you soon. J

    April 2, 2013

    • Ron Eugene W.

      Jean, practice, practice, practice. Your low volume kayak will be a bit challenging to safely load all your camp gear but it can be done. A light-weight foldable chair can be strapped on top with bungies or cords, even an alum folding lawn chair. I also put rolled-up sleep-mats & an aluminum camp table on my deck. Its a good idea to lay all camp gear out & practice loading your kayak at home before a trip. Heaviest items (like water containers, artifical fire logs, canned goods) on bottom & balanced front & rear. Sometimes i pack tent poles & stakes on yak bottom & put bulky but light weight tent itself on deck.

      April 3, 2013

    • Ron Eugene W.

      Here is one of many good you tube videos on packing kayak for camping http://www.bing.com/v...­

      April 3, 2013

  • Linda M

    I looooooove Salty Dog's manatee picture! Know this trip will be tons o' fun. Do you think there are manatee in Merchants Mill Pond;-). Take lots of pics!

    March 23, 2013

    • Sophie

      wish you could come Linda...I know you have your hands full though

      April 2, 2013

    • Linda M

      ya'll have tons o fun and take lots of pics. Hope the weather is pretty. Thanks for thinking of me.

      April 2, 2013

  • Sophie

    Looks like w/10 people coming it'll be $4.00 a person for camping...not bad for the entire weekend " )
    John, I too will bring firewood. If we all bring firewood then we'll have plenty. I may bring the small yak, load it w/firewood and pull it behind my yak. We've gotta have wood for the entire weekend.

    April 2, 2013

  • Sophie

    I've made the limit 10 w/a waiting list available. I may open up some slots depending on who wants to come and their experience level. Eva and Tamas are of course welcome...they mentioned possibly coming up for a day trip. If you all want to add someone let me know. Barry may come for the day or get a room nearby...he can decide at the last minute.

    April 2, 2013

  • Sophie

    This trip is not for beginners...you MUST have the proper equipment and EXPERIENCE. You must have your own camping gear, cooking gear and so on (as posted in the description some never read). You MUST WEAR A PFD at all times when on the water w/our group. If you cannot follow these simple rules then stay home. Sound harsh? It's not when our good time is compromised because of those that really don't care. It's not when our safety is compromised because of those that really dont' care.

    April 2, 2013

  • Sophie

    Yes...i hope for good weather. If it ends up being a rain out we'll have a rain date. Planning so far in advance you never know...I will keep my fingers crossed for good weather.

    March 23, 2013

  • Jean T.

    If I arrive Friday late morning, will there be room for another tent? Hate to sleep on rocks or a slope......just wondering. And yes, George, boxed red wine works well on float trips! I'll share my wine with you.

    March 18, 2013

    • Ron Eugene W.

      Plenty of room for probably at least 50 plus tents - no worries!!! The biggest challenge is knowing what not to take, as only a limited amount will fit in/on kayak. But many people make two or more trips since parking lot is not a long paddle from campsite. Also, there will probably be many people arriving Friday.

      March 18, 2013

    • Jean T.

      thanks for the information.

      March 18, 2013

  • Jean T.

    Ok. Just read the details. Questions: will we be cooking group meals on communal stoves or is everyone bringing all their own gear for all cooking and personal tents etc? Shall we share dinners? Wine in boxes? Just tell me how the group likes to do things? ? I have a kayak, can buy a small one person tent but would be happy to share cook stove and coffee pot in the morning and cooking dinners at night to reduce the weight of all that individual gear? And Where can I get a good map of the area?

    March 17, 2013

    • Ron Eugene W.

      As I wrote earlier "Good NC State Park Map here: http://www.ncparks.go...­... Clearly shows how to get to paddle-in group campsight."

      March 18, 2013

    • Jean T.

      Ok, thanks everyone. I'll start shopping around and see what I need to get. Just moved here from Maine and much of my old camping gear either got left behind or was given away. The rest is easy regarding maps etc. so, you'll be base camping at one site only and taking day trips from the canoe-in site, right? I can find you.

      March 18, 2013

  • Sophie

    Jean, at the top of the meetup page click on "MORE", a drop down menu will come up then click on files...search through the files until you find a list of camping gear...that might help

    March 17, 2013

  • Ron Eugene W.

    Be sure to first drive to main Park office to sign in & get a parking placard to hang on your cars rear-view mirror, then drive to launch area where you will leave your vehicle.

    March 17, 2013

  • Ron Eugene W.

    Good NC State Park Map here: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/memi/pics/parkmap.pdf Clearly shows how to get to paddle-in group campsight.

    March 17, 2013

  • John M

    I'd like to join on Friday rather than taking Thursday off from work. I may bring someone and take my tandem canoe

    January 10, 2013

    • Sophie

      takes you right to the campsites

      March 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      First fallow the orange and thanyellow....

      March 16, 2013

  • Sophie

    Please read all the details of all the events...they list all the info...what you need to bring and so on

    March 16, 2013

  • Jean T.

    Can I get more info on this? Will I need my own tent, cook stove, etc?

    March 16, 2013

    • Sophie

      you need all your own everything that you would use kayak/camping

      March 16, 2013

  • Chris

    Just found out I will have to work that weekend. :(

    March 7, 2013

  • Sophie

    It's always our core group!! Gotta love it : )

    February 6, 2013

  • Eric H.

    The Dismal Swamp is why I got into kayaking, but I still haven't been there yet. If I can get some cold water gear before the trip I'll go!

    January 10, 2013

    • Sophie

      You only need one outfit

      January 10, 2013

    • Sophie

      And it won't be too cold then

      January 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Cat is still sick...but planing to come down Saturday before 9 am and spend a day with u in the swamp;-)

    January 12, 2013

    • Sophie

      Will love to spend a day w/you two in the swamp!!!!

      January 31, 2013

  • Chris

    FYI-We will probably only do Friday and Saturday nights!

    January 20, 2013

8 went

  • Sophie
    2015 Simply Kayaking***Support, Amazing Paddle Rat Squad Member,
    Event Host
  • Kathy
    Event Host
  • Denny M +1
    2014 Simply Kayaking * Supporter, Member Paddle Rat Squad
  • John M +1
    2014, 2015 Simply Kayaking Supporter
  • A former member

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