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Back River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Hampton, VA
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: jasenj1 View Profile


The Back River and its various branches provides a large area to paddle around Langley Air Force Base out to the Chesapeake Bay. The mouth of the Back River is flanked by Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge to the north, and Grandview Nature Preserve to the south. There are several marinas and boat ramps around the Back River providing many different places to start and end a trip.

One recommended trip is to start at Gosnold's Hope Park at the public boat ramp. Paddle north and follow the shoreline to the right. There are several osprey nests, many birds, and some small coves to explore. Continue east and paddle over to Grandview. Grandview has a very nice beach.

Be aware of tide and wind conditions as Back River is fairly wide and subject to tidal currents.


Several marinas and public boat ramps are available


Private boat ramps may charge a fee.


From I-64 in Hampton take Exit 265A onto N Armistead. From Armistead, take Lasalle Ave to Mercury Blvd. Turn right onto Mercury and follow it to the King Street exit. Go north on King St to Little Back River Road. Follow that to Gosnold's Hope Park.

Put in is at Gosnold's Hope Park Public Boat Ramp at the back of the park.

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