I visited the Brooke Road canoe/kayak launch for the Crows Nest Nature Preserve on a beautiful, warm July afternoon. Launching about an hour before low tide, I felt very little current for the duration of my paddle. The parking lot is a bit of a walk from the canoe launch (more than a tenth of a mile, less than a quarter if I were guessing). I wasn't expecting that, but managed it fairly easily in one trip (although the walk back seemed much further because i was tired from paddling!). If you've got a heavy boat or mobility issues, I would strongly recommend bringing a friend or a kayak dolly. The parking lot and path to the launch were ADA compliant and the boat launch was very easy to use. Bathroom facilites consisted of a relatively clean port-o-john. I spoke with a fellow paddler who had just finished as I launched, and he offered some good suggestions for keeping an eye out for bald eagles (I saw 2) and Heron (I saw many). The trip itself if we awesome. The lotus along the creek were in full bloom for the first part of the paddle and it made a spectacular sight. I encountered several other kayakers, a couple of small motor boats fishing, as well as the VA Dept of Game & Fish boat (they were checking licenses on the fishing boat so come prepared if you are planning to drop a line). Much of the first 2 miles are no-wake zones, so I never felt like I was getting rocked as I do on Lake Anna. I did not attempt to make it all the way to Boykins Island, which would be the final destination on the "water trail", but given a sandwich and a deeper water supply I'm sure I could have easily. My round trip ended up just shy of 6 miles and it was a nice steady 2 hour paddle. Next time, I will plan to make the full 8 mile trek, but hope to hit the water earlier in the day to avoid the heat and catch a bit more of the wildlife.
Flat/Sheltered Water, River/Creek (Up to Class II)
Number of Portages:
Bring your fishing license if you plan to fish.
Pelcian 100 (basic rec kayak)
Sunny, warm with occasional breeze