About: Stumpy Lake Natural Area is a 278 acre lake that is bordered on one side by the Stumpy Lake Golf Course and Indian River and Elbow Roads on the other sides. It is a favorite for paddling activities, fishing and bird watching. The northern end of the lake is narrower and lined with cypress trees which results in a glassy smooth surface most of the time. Sticking to the edge of the lake keeps you in the shade and a little cooler and allows you to explore countless little coves.
As you approach the southern end the lake widens, and a steady breeze and very light chop can sometimes be whipped up. Also approaching the southeastern end, the lake is further from the road and bordered mainly by the golf course, and road noise decreases. This results in increased water foul activity.
The launch is located at the entrance to the Stumpy Lake Golf Course off of Indian River Road. It features a floating dock with an EZ Launch. There is ample parking and on this July morning there were perhaps only 5 or 6 other users.
Distance: When you put in, the size of this lake can be deceiving. I spent easily, over an hour paddling there, covered more than 3 hours of shoreline, and only covered a third of lake. Further, I did not take the time to explore every single cove but on the trip back, noted several more I could have stopped at and that looked interesting. You could plan a good half day here (depending on your activities) and have plenty to look at and do. Stumpy lake is also big enough, and varied enough, to offer the opportunity to return several times and see, and do something different each time.
Duration: You could plan a good half day here (depending on your activities) and have plenty to look at and do. Stumpy lake is also big enough, and varied enough, to offer the opportunity to return several times and see, and do something different each time.
Difficulty: Due to the wind breaking trees, and the glassy smooth surface, this is a very easy paddle. The launch is very convenient and makes putting in very easy. This would be a good place to take someone new to kayaking/canoeing.
Cost: Parking and usage of the area are free. The golf course greens fees are nominal and it is a nice round of play.
Accomodations: The majority of the nearby accommodations are located at either the Virginia Beach Town Center, which is more urban and nightlife oriented, or the oceanfront, which is a touristy resort area. Both offer very nice hotels, plenty to do within walking distance, and a mix of great dining options.
Dining: After a good paddle (or before one) there are two nearly 24/7 restaurants that are great for breakfast or dinner anytime. Rick’s cafe is located about 12 miles away in the direction of the oceanfront. The Village Inn is located 7 miles away right next to Town Center. The Village Inn also boasts the best pie in the world.
Analysis:Stumpy Lake is a great location for a nice leisurely paddle for some wildlife watching. It is also an enjoyable fishing location. It’s location is ideal to make you feel like you are not just outside the city and comes with a great golf course for playing a round. It offers the opportunity to visit multiple times and to see and do something different each time. With great dining and hotel options in the area, this is a good weekend trip or part of a longer vacation.
Kayaking, Fishing, Photography