Kayaking: Perquimans County Blueways – Lower Perquimans River Trail

June 18, 2010 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

Last summer I was driving around with the dogs exploring the area around Belvidere, North Carolina when I saw a a familiar site.  A trailhead!  Excited about a surprise hike, I made a U-Turn and unloaded the dogs.  I examined the map and sure enough there a trail.  But I looked around and I couldn’t see.

Perhaps it’s overgrown, I thought, so the dogs and I wandered along the perimeter of the park.

Ooooh, maybe it’s across the street! With the dogs in tow, I crossed the street and checked for beaten paths.  Still nothing.

I went back and referred to the trail map a number of times.  There was clearly a trail.  Why couldn’t find it?!?

It took me quite some time to realize.  The trail was the water.  It was a paddle trail!

A year later, Ryan and I are proud owners of kayaks. Now I can finally finally explore the trail perplexed me so.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Vicky at Trailhead (by Ryan Somma)
Yeah! Now I can Explore the Trail!

Trail Overview
There are over 40 miles of paddle trails in Perquimans County. Ryan and I explored just part of the Lower Perquimans River Trail. From Belvidere, it travels 12 miles down the river to the town of Hertford, North Carolina. We went down 7 of those miles and back. There were no rapids and no currents. The water was still enough to support numerous lilypad communities.

This was a very secluded outing. We were the only boats on this section of the river and for most part the shore was undeveloped. We saw two houses and one landowner the entire trip.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Peaceful Spot
Nice Spot About Seven Miles End

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Lilypads and Duck Box
Lilypads and Duck Box

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Vicky on River (by Ryan Somma)
Miles of Undeveloped Shoreline

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Ryan Near Milemarker 14
The Only Person I Spoke To The Trip

This section of the Perquimans River Trail is also considered an official birding trail and with good cause. Ryan and I were surprised to find a wild turkey high up in the trees. A giant owl crossed the river right in front of Ryan. Herons and ducks were common.

The trail could also be an official insect trail. We had some problems with biting flies. I still have itchy red bumps scattered across my body. On the upside, dragonflies quite fancied all the lilypads in the river.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Dragonfly From Side
Dragonfly on Lilypad

We paddled by a number of familiar faces– Red maple, Spanish Moss and the ever-prevalent Bald cypress. The Tupelos, Lilypads, Swamp Roses and Willow Oaks (?) were all flowering.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Lilypad Flower
Lilypad Flowers

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Pink Flower
Swamp Rose

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Catkins
Willow Oak?

Meanwhile the poison ivy and wild blueberry bushes (?) were sporting berries. We didn’t ingest either. : )

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Poison Ivy Berries
Poison Ivy

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Blueberries
Wild Blueberries?

Crock Pots and Adventure Time
We were pooped by the time we got back to the parking lot. But once we got our boats secured back on the car and we got back to Elizabeth City, we had a fragrant home and a hearty warm meal waiting for us. Before we left for our outing, we had loaded up some chicken in the crock pot. And that– I highly recommend. From skiing to day hikes to paddling, crock pot meals are just a wonderful way to welcome weary, tired muscles back home.

More pictures of our Lower Perquimans River Trail Outing are on my Flickr site.

Paddle Trail: Lower Perquimans River Trail

Trail Map

Length: 12 miles one way from Belvidere to Hertford, NC

Directions from Elizabeth City, NC

Take US-17 South

Turn right on 37 (Wiggins Rd.) at Winfall

In about 7.5 miles you’ll pass through Belvidere. Shortly afterwards, the trailhead and parking will be on your left.

Entry filed under: Kayaking, Perquimans River.

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