I’m visiting relatives in Suffolk over Easter Break. I’m interested in paddling Blackwater River/Swamp below Zuni and heading SE to Alligator River NWR in NC. I’ve read the trips posted on this website under “destinations”. Any other tips, suggestions on where to paddle. I’m not interested in paddling canals or large open expanses. I prefer windy creeks.
Check out Merchants Millpond SP
You’ll be very close to Merchant’s Millpond State Park in northeastern NC. This is one the finest kayaking destinations in the state, but one you want to do before the ticks and mosquitoes are out.
You’re also close to Dismal Swamp State Park. On the Virginia side you can paddle up the canal to the campsite, portage around the dam (very easy) and enter Lake Drummond. The canal is straight as an arrow and Lake Drummond is very spacious, but you’ll be amazingly remote.
The Alligator River NWR is another worthy destination, especially if you follow the trail up to Sawyer Lake.
thanks for the suggestions,
I hadn’t thought about merchants mill pond. I paddled there once when my kids were small and enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll check out Bennets Creek, the outflow of the lake/pond as well.
Bennett’s is nice and
Now has camping platforms to boot.
thanks for the advice
I did make it to merchants millpond for a day of relaxed paddling with the wife- rented one of their old town discovery canoes- I was impressed by the “new” visitors center and the upgraded canoes and lifejackets since i was there 6 or 7 years ago.
link to short video clip
also paddled (near Suffolk) through blackwater swamp/river from Zuni to County road 603. I used a short ww yak (wavesport Y) to help negotiate the swamp sections- plenty of deadfall and current to keep the first 1/2 of trip interesting. Had a wild feel to it. definately worth doing- just follow the current. If your uncomfortable paddling around and over trees in current then this trip is not for you.
Next time I visit my niece we’ll try Bennetts Creek.