On the day of my trip the river was running very low, about 4' below normal. This prevented me from seeing Big Mama, who rests in peace at the Cypress Bridge Swamp Natural Area Preserve, which is immediately adjacent to the landing. However, there is no shortage of impressive living trees, especially bald cypresses. The name Old Bridge Rd. becomes evident at the landing as the pilings of an old bridge still stand in the water. For my trip I headed upriver, generally northwest and right from the landing. Immediately right of the landing is a cove that leads into the preserve, but it will dead end sooner or later depending on the water level. The current for my trip was rather mild, and I was able to paddle for quite a while until I got tired and returned to the landing, letting the river do the work on the way back. The low water left a lot of exposed tree roots and sandbars, several of which I got out to explore. Wildlife sightings on this trip were abundant and included deer, turkey, herons, egrets, kingfishers, common mergansers, river otters, and most exciting for me, pileated woodpeckers. As I paddled it, the trip was just over 6 miles.
|Pilings of the Old Bridge|
|Roots Exposed from Low Water|
|The Nottoway is a fresh, blackwater river, 60 miles from the ocean, but its ancient past is revealed by low water and oyster shells.|
View Nottoway 10.6.12 in a larger map