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This paddle was a group event, and I went as an assistant organizer of one of the local kayaking groups. We launched from the ramp and paddled the short crossing to the island. It was an easy paddle.
Paddlers who plan to come to circumnavigate the island or to explore the island should be aware that there is also commercial traffic on the river as well as recreational boats. The total distance of circumnavigation around the island is 6.46 miles and well worth the effort.
The area is tidal so before you go out Google the views of the island from both a topo and hybrid view. Plan your route.
There are some exposed shipwrecks that dot the mainland shoreline, a short paddle away on the Eastern tip of the island.
To really appreciate the island, paddle in on the larger SE Side creek that offers some unique sightings of wildlife such as whitetail deer, southern bald eagles, herons.
The refuge is part of the Atlantic Flyway Program and access to landing on the island is restricted to the North landing site. The area has trails to explore, there is no camping or fires permit on the island. It's a day trip well worth making.
Available at NOAA.Gov. A free download of the pdf (adobe reader required) of Chartbook 12252 James River from Jordan Point to Richmond. Chart Pages 10& 11.
For a preliminary view of the area Google Earth is an excellent source for seeing the area first as to plan the paddle.
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