The Albemarle Region is rich in opportunities to experience outdoor adventures. Local Elizabeth City kayaker, Don Campbell, shares tips and info on how to have a safe and scenic waterway adventure here in the “Harbor of Hospitality.”
What’s been your experience kayaking in the Elizabeth City Area and Albemarle Region?
Don: Everywhere I have gone in my kayak has been amazing, from the Elizabeth City downtown waterfront views at sunrise and sunset to the deep end of a finger creek in primordial scenery. I have seen all kinds of snakes, birds, turtles, deer, bears, otters and minks. I have had an eagle almost hit me with a dropped fish, and an alligator eyeballing me in a pond. Even when I am not catching fish, I always have my waterproof camera and can get a great shot of my surroundings. I highly recommend our area for kayakers and kayak fishing enthusiasts.
Where are some of the places to kayak in the area?
Don: There are lots of places to kayak all around us. I launch regularly from Charles Creek Park (located on Riverside Ave) in Elizabeth City. Since I am usually launching just before sunrise, (early a.m. for lighter winds and better fishing) there are beautiful scenes across the Pasquotank River. I travel down river to Knobbs Creek and beyond, where there are lots of little side creeks to explore. There are tons of places within a short drive of Elizabeth City. The furthest I usually go is the Outer Banks and the numerous launching spots around the Sounds. I kayak in Halls Creek, Symonds Creek, Big Flatty Creek, Sawyers Creek in Camden, Newbegun Creek in Weeksville, Mill Creek and Raccoon Creek in Hertford, Queen Anne and Pembroke Creek in Edenton and the Dismal Swamp Canal. For salt/brackish water fishing I go to the Roanoke, Currituck and Albemarle Sounds. Check out this site to learn more about the ”Paddling on the Pasquotank River and Albemarle Regional Paddle Trails.” Download the Albemarle Regional Paddle Trail Map.
What advice would you give fellow kayakers who might visit here?
Don: Because wind is a big factor for kayaks (and the weather in general) WindAlert.com is a great tool to use along with general weather apps and forecasts. I check numerous area web cams including the Elizabeth City Harbor Cam and OBX web cam sites to view water conditions.
Remember to always wear a personal floatation device and be prepared for water temperature conditions. When water is below 50 degrees, I also wear an exposure suit to prevent hypothermia in case I wind up in the water. Always be prepared!
Where can you rent a kayak in the area?
The Dismal Swamp State Park rents kayaks for your enjoyment. Access is provided for kayaks beside the State Park bridge. The kayaks can be rented for $5 per hour.
If you decide you’d like to explore and stay on the water longer, consider kayak camping! We love this blog by kayakudos.com. It gives a great breakdown of everything you will need and how to pack your yak for even weight distribution and easy access.
Readers, we hope to see you soon on your own Elizabeth City area kayaking adventure! Share your kayaking experiences with others by using #DiscoverECity. Happy travels!
(Photo courtesy of Don Campbell taken on the Pasquotank River)