A Camden County View of Paddle for the Border 2016



In early spring hundreds of paddlers launch their vessels into the Dismal Swamp Canal’s dark, mirrored waters. This historic waterway serves as the backdrop for Paddle for the Border, an annual 7.5-mile paddling excursion to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

This annual event celebrates the canal’s rich history, which dates to 1763 when George Washington’s land company first surveyed the swamp before commissioning the waterway’s construction. In the 19th century, the canal’s dense wetlands provided refuge for slaves traveling the Underground Railroad before continuing their journey north.


After enjoying a traditional pre-launch breakfast at the Dismal Swamp State Park, in South Mills, NC, paddlers embark on the leisurely three-hour journey to cross the state line. They finish the day out with a picnic lunch on grounds of the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail at the Great Dismal Swamp Boat Ramp at Ballahack Rd. in Chesapeake, VA.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, paddle partners have made the decision to postpone the 2021 Paddle for the Border event to a Saturday in the fall, date to be determined. We'll be closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will make a final decision by May 2021 on whether we can safely host an event of this caliber. The health and safety of our communities is of upmost importance and we have determined this is the best way to move forward. Thank you for your understanding and please stay tuned for additional event information/updates.

Event Date: TBD

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