your paddlesports destination

Blackwater River in Virginia

Trip Overview

We heard this was a great place to paddle if you wanted to feel like you "were somewhere prehistoric." The bald cypress, water tupelo, and banks of massive clam shells were truly awesome.

We launched from a boat launch near the Blackwater Bridge crossing and rt 603. This is a DGIF Public Boating Access point. It is a small concrete launch with dirt parking. There is also a mud bank that kayaks could use to launch from.

Even though it was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, there was very little traffic at the boat ramp. A couple of parked cars and one family fishing from the bank.

We paddled north for about a mile into the Blackwater Ecological Preserve. There were a couple of fallen trees, but many had been cut through and all were easily passed. We only saw one other paddler on the water.

The river is very very flat, deep, and calm. Many parts of the river are shaded by the trees. There were no houses, roads, or other signs of civilization in the stretch we paddled.


The Blackwater Bridge launch is a DGIF boat launch. It's a concrete launch. There is no organized parking, it's a round dirt lot. No restrooms, water, etc.


No fees for launching.


From Unity, Virgina, travel east on Rt 603. The boat ramp is on the left in ~1 mile.

* Note - we tried to visit the put-in at Rt-620 (mentioned on this site [ed. June 2010 report]), but this beach is now fenced off and marked with "Private Property" and "No Trespassing" signs.


I recommend having a paper map, because there is limited cell signal in this area.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip