An On-line Journal of My Kayak Adventures in Eastern Virginia

Sunday, May 28, 2017

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Western Branch Reservoir - 5/28/17

     The Western Branch Reservoir is in the city of Suffolk, Virginia, and is one of several lakes that the city of Norfolk owns and uses to supply its municipal water. I don't normally paddle lakes, and usually find them less dynamic than a river or something tidal. However, this was a pleasant paddle. The surrounding shoreline was lush and green from all the recent rains, and bird song filled the air. The concrete boat ramp has plenty of parking, freshwater, and porta-johns. I put in to the side of the ramp on a sandy bank. I paddled left (east) and followed the shoreline turning into a cove that had a few houses. Heading across the main channel I entered another cove where there were no houses, and the banks were covered in a thick diverse forest of maples, birch, oaks, and beech. The cove was serene, quiet, and very green. I was about 2-3 weeks late to see all of the mountain laurel in bloom, but I've made a note for next year. I have also made a note to paddle this place in the fall; judging from the number of trees, the colors must be good. Following the shoreline opposite the boat ramp, I passed by a small island that could be explored on another trip, and I headed to the Lake Prince dam. This part of the paddle was the only place I encountered any current. As I paddled it, the trip was about 4 miles; I would have gone further, but rain threatened.

Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris)

Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris)
  


Looks like a good place for after-paddle beverages.



Wooded Cove

Wooded Cove

Wooded Cove

Wooded Cove
Lake Prince Dam

Lake Prince Dam

Boat Ramp