Discover the northernmost home of the American alligator
Merchants Millpond State Park in Gates County in northeastern North Carolina is a natural paradise that is known as a perfect place for a picnic or a relaxing canoe paddle. But watch out for big eyes in the water, because Merchants Millpond is the northernmost home of the American alligator. The park contains one of the state’s rarest ecological communities. Massive cypress and gum trees covered with Spanish moss form a canopy for the dark waters of the millpond, which is a wilderness sanctuary for wetland wildlife. This area is supposed to be too far north for alligators, but they have been spotted in the millpond for several years. Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of activities including canoeing, fishing and hiking as well as accessible campsites and picnic facilities. The millpond also is a popular stop on a scenic drive of the region.
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