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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Waller Mill Reservoir - 11/3/13

     Many of the kayaking trips I take in the fall are in an effort to see and photograph foliage color. When planning this trip I sought out a location on the Penninsula, further away from the coast, so that the tree mix might include more than just green loblolly pines. A co-worker recommended Waller Mill Park in Williamsburg, not as a kayaking destination, but as a place where there are a varied number of tree species. A quick on-line search showed that it would also be a great place to paddle. In the past my timing for fall color has often not been right, as I have either been too early or too late, but on this trip I picked the perfect day and the colors were spectacular.

     My put-in point was a boat ramp on Waller Mill Reservoir in Waller Mill Park, which is owned by the city of Williamsburg, and the facilities are much nicer than what I usually encounter when I kayak. There is an entrance fee and a launch fee of $2 each, which is paid at the boat house, where additional kayaks, jon boats and paddle boats can be rented. Since this is a drinking water reservoir, only electric motors are allowed, making it unnecessary to keep my usual lookout for power boats and crazed jet skiers. The park also includes hiking and biking trails and one of the best dog parks I have ever seen. The boat ramp is concrete and there is a low dock right next to it and parking is very close.  The reservoir is divided into two halves by a causeway, but there is a tunnel to connect the upper (northerly) and lower (southerly) sections. I headed to the upper section because it looked a little wilder to me and I wanted to find its source. Along the way I saw several herons, kingfishers, and got to watch a pair of bald eagles drive away some sort of hawk, while two juvenile eagles looked on. I also found several outcroppings of fossilized shells, that included the state fossil of Virginia, Chesapecten jeffersonius, a scallop that lived during the Pliocene age when all of Tidewater Virginia was covered by seawater. As I paddled it, the trip was about a 4 miles.

Causeway Tunnel

View Waller Mill Park 11/3/13 in a larger map

     I took many photographs on this trip, and if you would like to see the complete set you can do so here on my Flickr page

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