Tag Archives: Merchants Millpond

As winter plugs along, hike the coast

In October, we suggested that winter was a good time for taking long hikes at the coast. Fewer biting things flitting through the air, fewer slithering things making their way across the ground. Today, as we’re in the throes of a sustained cold weather hiking season, we return to the coast with suggestions for shorter walks. read more

This weekend: Fun with Dad 

Learn the mysteries of Merchants Millpond

Show dad how much he means to you by taking him into the great outdoors.


So many mysteries contained in Merchants Millpond, the nearly 200-year-old, 760-acre water assemblage that spreads throughout the State Park bearing its name. Is it a pond or a swamp (sure seems like the latter)? What are those weird, prehistoric fish you occasionally see near the surface? Are there alligators? read more

Your weekend: Present, Past, Fast

Fast times at Mount Jefferson
Fast times at Mount Jefferson

Detach your kids from their electronics and get them to live in the present (at least for 45 minutes) at Merchants Millpond; expose them to true culture shock with a look at how kids used to play in Saura times; or, head to the mountains and catch skateboarders on the fast track. read more

Your Weekend: Warm to Adventure


Take advantage of the wonderful weather statewide this weekend with a summer carnival in Cherokee, a hike at the coast (and earn prizes), or learning about the state’s birds of prey in Charlotte.

Coast: Hike at Merchants Millpond State Park

On Saturday a park ranger at Merchants Millpond State Park in Gatesville will lead a 2-mile hike on the Track Trail-certified Coleman Trail. Take a brochure on the hike, follow its directions, accumulate information, then enter the information on a website following the hike. Get enough entries and earn patches, note pads, backpacks and stickers! Not to mention the opportunity to get some exercise on a beautiful trail. Wear sturdy shoes and plan on the hike taking about 2 hours. read more

This weekend: Rain, work with it

To quote The Ink Spots, “Into each life, some rain must fall.” Or in the case of this weekend, a lot of rain. Pretty much across the entire state. All weekend.

That said, two things. One, a forecast is just that, a guess based on what appears might could happen. Sometimes, it seems like more of a whimsical guess, although in this case, where the whole of North Carolina is looking to get wet, it seems less whimsical, more meteorological. And two, a little rain needn’t necessarily stop you from heading out and having fun. read more