Training Canoe Newbies Over the years, Cliff Jacobson has formed a few tests to get new canoeists ready to run whitewater rivers. Read all about them. Crossover Gear for Paddling Tom Watson examines some recent items on the outdoor market that may serve a useful purpose in the paddling realm.
Report Type: Day Trip Report Trip Dates: June 2, 2013 Nearest City: Virginia Beach, VA Difficulty: Easy Submitted by:twood2002
For our first warm weather paddle of 2013, my girlfriend and I chose Blackwater Creek in Virginia Beach. We paddled west from the put in (you can also paddle east) and quickly passed most of the few houses that are on the creek. As we began to leave the traffic noise behind we noticed two Ospreys fishing on one bend of the creek. We watched them circle and kite, hoping to see one dive into the water but they never did.
As with many places we paddle, we encountered no other boaters or people as we paddled the almost two miles of navigable water westward. There was an offshoot near the western end of the creek that extends about a half mile to the northwest and has a small dock near the end. The house at the dock was not visible but we assumed that there was one. We encountered plenty of turtles and heard/saw many birds.
The first few bends of the creek were pretty wide (100' or more) but we found nice, intimate paddling in the western reaches where the creek was 20' wide or so. There were a couple of VA Game and Inland Fisheries blinds along the creek that we enjoyed looking at.
We treated ourselves to a nice lunch of BBQ and deviled eggs when we returned to the put in. We watched boaters launch and retrieve their power boats as we ate. We were happy that the eastern half of the creek is where the jet skiers and power boaters spend their time (it leads to the North Landing River) because it leaves the western half relatively unused.
Here's a short video of our paddle:
The Blackwater Trading Post sits at the foot of the bridge on Blackwater Road that spans over Blackwater Creek. They have gas, a portable bathroom, a small grill (in the store) and all the drinks and food type things you would expect in a typical urban convenience store. They have a concrete boat ramp, two picnic tables and two docks.
If you are from out of town you can stay in a hotel near Greenbrier (I-64 and Greenbrier Parkway) or in Virginia Beach. The drive to this creek is only about 20-30 minutes out of the suburban areas of Chesapeake or Virginia Beach.
The ramp fee for kayaks and canoes is under $5. I believe it was $3 total for our two kayaks.
From I-64 in Chesapeake, enter the Chesapeake Expressway west of the Battlefield Boulevard/I-64 interchange. Take the Mount Pleasant Road exit (2nd exit heading east) and continue on that road for about 4-5 miles. Take a right on Fentress Airfield Road (at the stoplight) and the next left which is Blackwater Road. Drive approximately 5-7 miles on Blackwater Road until you pass Pungo Ferry Road on your left. The bridge over Blackwater Creek is just beyond that (still on Blackwater Road). The boat ramp is at the small store on the right at the foot of the bridge (the south end).
I did not use any maps but you can easily look this up online or with a regular city map of Virginia Beach, VA