Saturday, August 24, 2013

Paddling Kerr Lake and a "water rescue" of sorts!

  Location: Kerr Lake, Clarksville, VA. Temperature: 80F Wind: Light  Conditions: Mostly sunny

Rachel and I were visiting family this past weekend in Clarksville, VA. I "just happened" to also take our tandem kayak in case an opportunity presented itself for a kayaking adventure! The town of Clarksville sits on Kerr Lake, a reservoir created lake that boasts over 850 miles of shoreline and covers nearly 50,000 acres. Was there ever a doubt we would NOT go paddling?  ;-)  Click on the photos to enlarge.     

 We decided to launch from the Occoneeche State Park located across the lake from Clarksville. After paying a very reasonable $3.00 (USD) for park admission, we drove a short distance and put in at boat ramp #2.

We heard laughter as we paddled into the main body of water, and spotted these two kids doing what kids have done for centuries at the lake shore, looking for rocks and assorted treasure in the shallow waters.

The building tops and smoke stack of the Mecklenburg Cogeneration Facility poke above the treeline. The cogeneration plant is a two-unit, 130-megawatt coal-fired facility that supplies electricity to the surrounding area.

One of several cottages that visitors may rent during their stay at Occoneechee State Park. The obligatory rope swing dangles from a tree by the water's edge.

The Swamp Rose Mallow or Hibiscus Moscheutos growing near the lake shore.

A solitary bush with a precarious foothold.

The Occoneechee State Park side of Kerr Lake was littered with huge tree debris and rocky shorelines.

Striking reflections of tree trunks in a quiet and still cove.

Rounding a point, you can see both the new by-pass bridge (foreground) and the original business Highway 58 bridge (background). Click on the photo to enlarge.

We spotted this 20 foot + tree trunk floating in Kerr Lake. The current was drifting it out to the main channel, where in the distance, boats were racing past our position at high speeds. The tree was an extreme navigation hazard and had to be removed.

Thankfully, I carried a tow line in my dry bag. We maneuvered our kayak along side the floating tree trunk. I was able to wrap and secure the line around the approximately 1 foot diameter trunk. Than, with Rachel paddling from her front seat, I was able to hold onto the tow line and we slowly paddled for the shoreline.  

Here, you can see the length of tree trunk compared to the kayak. Our kayak is 13 feet long and the  tree extended several feet beyond our boat. It took both of us to wrestle the water-logged tree onto the shore and out of the water line. Our good deed for the day!

Rachel and I had a great time paddling on Kerr Lake. The temperatures were mild, the humidity was low, and it was an all around gorgeous time to be on the lake! Hope to return often to explore Kerr Lake!

Copyright Durhamblogger. All rights reserved.


  1. I bet that was a tough paddle for Rachel, it looks like it would create a lot of resistance!

    1. It was a slow paddle to shore, but there was little to no current or wind, so it was manageable for Rachel!

  2. I remember when my great grandparents has a lake house we would go by the lakeshore and search for treasures and "cool" rocks. It was lots of fun! I really miss those times at the lake house.

    The pictures you post are beautiful as always!

  3. Good for you Mike. Floating logs and dead trees are such a hazard. Cheers from Canada.


I regret that I had to enable Comment Moderation on Durhamblogger. Please note that appropriate kayak and paddling comments will be posted promptly!