Trail News

Paddling Horn Harbor Creek in Burgess, Virginia

June 30, 2021
This image is of a watercolor paddling scene with trees, sky, and calm water with both riverbanks in green shoreline grasses
Capturing a paddling expedition on the Great Wicomico River

About Guest Blogger & Ecotour Guide Brenda:

I am an artist living in Reedville and I specialize in painting the beautiful landscapes found here by the Chesapeake Bay. I’m always looking for new inspiration for my paintings and of course some of the best views around are from the water. I have a group of kayak loving friends here in the Northern Neck who join me on my adventures. We have begun the process of exploring all of paddling places listed in our area on the Virginia Water Trails website. It is a fantastic resource.


Where to paddle:

I have twice have done most of the Great Wicomico Paddle and it is beautiful, but it can be challenging on a windy day. Last week we decided to do a nearby shorter, but still rewarding paddle instead. We met at 9:00AM in the parking lot of the Horn Harbor Restaurant in Burgess. I had called in advance to make a reservation for lunch on their outdoor deck and get permission to launch our kayaks from their beach next to the marina. Their launching fee was $5 dollars for our group. I brought my dog Lucy along for the trip because the restaurant also welcomes dogs at some of their outdoor seating options. Unloading and launching there was a cinch. Upon leaving the beach, we headed left down stream on the Great Wicomico towards the Bay. Once you paddle past the former campsites on the restaurant property, you turn left into the mouth of Horn Harbor Creek. We were extra lucky that morning because the little wind blowing as we started out was a headwind and we knew we’d have an even easier paddle with the wind at our backs on our return. 

There are a a few homes on the lefthand shore as you head into the broad opening of Horn Harbor creek, but the right side is entirely natural. We saw lots of great blue herons and ospreys. On the banks of the creek the mountain laurels were past their peak but still beautiful. We made a mental note to go back a week or two earlier next year. We paddled to where the channel ends in a marsh and turned around and headed back to the restaurant. Our trip from start to finish lasted less than two hours and we smiled the whole morning. There are chairs on the beach for relaxing after your paddle. We reloaded our kayaks into our vehicles, washed up in their rest rooms, and enjoyed a delicious lunch on their shaded porch with a great view of the Great Wicomico River. If you are looking for a fun way to spend the morning kayaking with your family or friends in the Northern Neck, I’d recommend this trip wholeheartedly. 

Links in the article: 

Silver Raven Studios

Horn Harbor Restaurant

Virginia Water Trails

Photo of creek with surrounding woodland and paddlers