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In the woods · On the farm · By the water
Farms and land in Gates County offer investors a rural setting near city amenities. Located in the Coastal Plain region, the 340-square-mile county has a population of 11,500 and plenty of low-cost labor for manufacturing, construction and service industries. Gate County land borders on the State of Virginia and the North Carolina counties of Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan and Hertford. Farmland occupies about 58,000 acres of which 78% is in cropland and 19% in woodland, much of which can be timbered. Thirty-three percent of agricultural sales is from crops and 67% is from livestock and poultry. Waterfowl are plentiful in the winter, and some farmers use their unused cropland to create impoundments. Bear, deer and turkeys are stalked by hunters. The Chowan River, Merchant’s Millpond, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, lakes and ponds provide fishermen with the perfect habitat for catching brim, catfish and perch. Merchant’s Millpond also is a favorite paddling place for kayakers and canoeists. The millpond has an ancient ecological system that includes 1,000-year-old trees. There are few large private employers in the county with the exception of Ashton Lewis Lumber Co. and Gates Milling Inc. Gates County Public Schools provide K-12 public education. Post-secondary instruction is offered by the College of the Albemarle and Roanoke Chowan Community College.