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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lafayette River - East of Granby St.

     To access the upper third of the Lafayette River, the best place to put in is likely the Haven Creek boat ramp. Head towards the mouth of the creek and turn right (east) to go under the Granby St. Bridge. Following the shoreline, you will eventually reach the Virginia Zoo. The riverbank here has been left in a fairly natural state and there are usually good opportunities to see native wildlife, and if your lucky you might hear more exotic creatures as well. Past the zoo you can head towards the 26th St. Bridge. I have not been much beyond this bridge as the river narrows and becomes more shallow, so know what the tides are doing.

     Reverse course and follow the opposite shore heading towards the Willow Wood Bridge. You will soon see a local landmark, a smaller replica of the Statue of Liberty. There are several small creeks before and after the bridge you may want to explore. Mostly they are lined with houses, but there are a few spots that remain more natural. There is a treeless point that juts out into the middle of the river, just before  you reach Wayne Creek. If you turn right here, you can follow a cut-through that will take you between the Lakewood neighborhood and a large marsh, and that is also an alternative way to get to Wayne Creek. I have always seen many egrets and herons in this marsh.

     Wayne Creek is larger than the other creeks off of the Lafayette, and it will lead you to Lakewood Park, where several different rowing organizations put in.  Past the park the river heads east towards the Tidewater Dr. Bridge. I have never been beyond this point and usually turn around here. Back at the mouth of Wayne Creek, you could turn right (north) to explore more of the Lafayette. Although there are many homes and docks here, this end of the river is pretty quiet. Heading back, immediately past the Willow Wood Bridge and just before the Granby St. Bridge, there is a very new oyster reef installed by the Elizabeth River Project. This end of the Granby St. Bridge is popular with shore fishermen, so mind you don't run into someone's fishing line. You can cross the river here and head back to the Haven Creek boat ramp. As followed, this trip is a little more than 7 miles.

Reel Estate

Many creatures enjoy living along the Lafayette.
Bird on a Pole

The 26th St. Bridge
26th St. Bridge

Broken Dock

Boat Barm

Lady Liberty, South

Women's Rowing Crew at Lakewood Park

People Visiting the Site of a New Oyster Reef

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