your paddlesports destination

Mattaponi River in Virginia

Trip Overview

Please let me preface this by saying that this was my first real kayak trip. I had some previous experience with an Old Town Otter, but I just recently purchased a Necky Looksha Sport. I planned to put in at the Walkerton, VA boat launch and paddle upstream to the US Route 360 bridge at Aylett, VA. I thought I had it timed so the tide would help me up and down the river.

As I was unloading my boat another gentleman was unloading his (Wilderness Tsunami 145). He had planned on doing about the same thing and since he seemed to have some experience I decided to tag along with him.

The tide was still incoming as we left the launch, but already the water was quite high, allowing us to take shortcuts over the ess curves the channel makes. According to my Garmin unit, it is 9 miles from Walkerton to Aylett, and another 4 to where we turned around.

As I said, this was my first real trip, so I didn't have sense enough to turn around at the bridge. From here upstream the river narrows down to about 50 feet with overhanging trees on both sides. We saw a bald eagle perched in a tree, two river otters on the bank, and numerous ducks and kingfishers.

Our return did not quite coincide with the outgoing tide, so we had to paddle against it for about an hour. The wind had also picked up, and although it wasn't real problem, it certainly didn't help once the river widened.

I enjoyed the stretch from Aylett north the most. Next time I will put in at either the Aylett state boat ramp or the kayak launch in the Zoar State Forest.

Fees:

There was a donation box for the Walkerton Fire and Rescue Squad who apparently operates the ramp. They wanted $5.

Directions:

From Richmond take Route 360 east to Route 30 south. Turn left on Walkerton road. From West Point take 30 north and turn right on Walkerton road.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip