27 May Kayaking the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach
Kayaking is always one of our favorite adventures–we love spending time on the water and kayaks are typically our top vessel of choice. We’ve paddled down rivers, on the ocean, in lakes, and through Florida’s mangroves and intracoastal waterway.
This time around, we were in Virginia Beach and about to make our way through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge down Hell Point Creek towards North Bay. The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located in southern Virginia Beach and is an 8,000-acre fresh water refuge near Virginia’s outer banks.
The weather for the entire trip was touch and go, but thankfully it wasn’t storming the morning of our tour, so we braved the chill to get out and do some paddling. We went on the kayak tour with Surf and Adventure Co.; they offer a variety of tours such as a kayak fishing tour or a sunset tour, but we joined in on the Back Bay Kayak Eco Tour. Our guide, Kenny, was the same guide who took us out fat tire biking the day before. And, this time around we were joined by his adorable dog named, Fish!
After getting our gear ready to go and climbing into our kayaks, we launched from the docks behind the shop–soon we were on our way down the creek. As we paddled through the trees, we spotted plenty of wildlife, flora and fauna. Kenny pointed out birds, fish, snakes and more, and told us all about the native plants in the area.
Another form of entertainment for the morning? Fish the dog. We couldn’t get enough of this adorable ball of fur—as we paddled, Fish tried to snatch up every stick we passed. Most of the time, he just ended up splashing his face for a refreshing dunk in the water. He did end up securing one rather large stick, however, and it promptly became a chew toy that he wasn’t going to let go of!
The paddle out to the bay was nice and calm as the wind was on our side. The only problem with the wind helping you paddle in one direction is that it’s not going to be pretty on the way back. We made our way all the way to the North Bay where we soon encountered plenty of wind and choppy water. Due to the wind, we decided it would be good to head back to the shop instead of paddling around the bay.
Our paddle back was definitely much more challenging than the way out. Normally, Micah and I prefer single kayaks, but boy was I glad that we had a double this time around! It was nice not to lose much ground and take turns paddling when our arms felt like they were about to burn off. Thankfully, once we made it back into the canopy of trees, we were protected from the wind and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.
All in all, we paddled around 4 miles, and we were so lucky the bad weather held off long enough for us to get out on the water. It was a fantastic, refreshing and energizing morning, and it was the perfect start to our last day in Virginia Beach.
Where is your favorite place to kayak?