The river begins at Tanner's point on the north side of the river, and this spot will give you a close view of cargo containers being loaded and unloaded. Further east is The Hermitage, one of my favorite places to visit in Norfolk. If you turn north into Lochaven you can see the restored living shoreline on the grounds of The Hermitage. Further in you can paddle up to the base of a shingle-clad lighthouse, and there are lots of opportunities to see wildlife along the undeveloped shoreline. At the mouth of the loch is the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, and you will likely encounter students from their sailing classes. Back under the bridge, the north shore of the Lafayette has several small creeks that are all worth exploring, especially at high tide. The largest of these is Crab Creek, and at its entrance is a sand bar and marsh where I always see cormorants. Crab Creek is large enough that you could spend more time in it than the other creeks. If you explore everything I have suggested here, it would be about a 10 mile paddle.
Old U.S. Public Health Hospital
Under the Hampton Blvd. Bridge
The Hermitage and its Restored Living Shoreline
The Lochaven Lighthouse at The Hermitage
Cormorants at the Mouth of Crab Creek
Old School Sailboat in Crab Creek
View Lafayette River - Tanner's Point to Crab Creek in a larger map