Paddle Mathews Blueways

by Bill & Mary Burnham

Paddle to historic lighthouse with Bay Trails

Ninety minutes east of Richmond, the rivers and tributaries off the Chesapeake Bay create a paddler's paradise in Mathews, Virginia.

On a leisurely paddle from quiet Williams Wharf, once a busy Colonial port, loons called, and a bald eagle nested in a tall tree near an old tide mill. Purported to have ground cornmeal for George Washington's army, the mill was burned during the Civil War, rebuilt, and then nearly served as John Lennon's recording studio when he and Yoko owned the estate in the 1970s. It's the only tide mill remaining of nearly two dozen that once dotted the bay, their water wheels powered by the rising and falling tides.

Paddle 'Inns'

Dock at Inn at Tabb's Creek

The Kingston Plantation Inn is one of those places one envisions when dreaming of a southern waterfront plantation. Suites and fireplaces, expansive public areas and shady lawns define this North River haven.

The Inn at Tabb's Creek Landing is a newly-renovated 1820s sea captain's home where guests can borrow a canoe or launch a kayak from the beach.

Bay Trails Outfitters in Mathews provides boats, gear, and guided trips.