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“Unique and Beautiful”
Review of Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond
Ranked #32 of 70 things to do in Norfolk
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The origins of the largest natural lake in Virginia still remain a mystery.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level Contributor
176 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
“Unique and Beautiful”
Reviewed 27 July 2013

Lake Drummond is part of The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. It is a remotely located, huge lake with Bald Cypress and many other trees in and around the water. In July, a friend and I kayaked from the Ballahack Rd boat ramp in Chesapeake (adjacent to the wonderful Dismal Swamp Canal Trail) to Lake Drummond. The journey started by kayaking a brief half mile or so on the Dismal Swamp Canal to the 4.5 mile "feeder ditch" leading to LD. It's unfortunate for such a scenic waterway to be called feeder ditch. It's fairly narrow, a rich brown color with tannic acid, and teeming with life. We saw what must have been thousands of dragonflies, dancer flies, friendly butterflies, turtles (they look like snakes when popping their heads out of the water), fish, and a black bear cub. With only about 1/2 mile remaining to reach LD, we came to a spillway or lock. There were a few people fishing and camping is allowed in this area, great spot for a picnic, and there are even restrooms. In order to continue the trip to LD, we had to manually move our kayaks from the Dismal Swamp Canal side of the spillway to the LD side. Once done, we had only about 1/2+ mile to Lake Drummond. The Lake is large and beautiful. It seemed like we were the only ones there. After an all too brief paddle about the lake, we returned by the same route. This is about a 10 mile round trip so take everything you might need; water, snacks, extra clothes, etc. A cellphone might be handy due to the lack of other people and remote location, our Verizon service had a signal most of the time. There may be others, but I know of only two other ways to reach Lake Drummond, and that is by the Suffolk entrance to The Great Dismal Swamp NWR via the Washngton Ditch Trail (hike or bike) or by getting a key from a Ranger to a locked gate and taking a road (not sure of the name) and driving very slowly about 5-7 miles to LD. If you like kayaking or canoeing, you will enjoy this paddle.

Visited July 2013
5 Thank goneagain2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Give it a shot”
Reviewed 28 March 2013

Watch out for the shallow water there are a lot of stumps and other objects that can take out a small motor.

Visited April 2012
Thank BenRTp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
92 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Nice place to bike to and kayak to...”
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Take a bicycle and find one of the dirt walk/bikepaths on the NW side of the lake. If you go in summer cover yourself with bug juice and enjoy the ride and the views.
Paddle the lake by taking the Dismal Swamp connector canal..portaging at the locks, then paddle a couple of miles in the lake. I'll do this again sometime

Visited June 2011
1 Thank rossy53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
638 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“One Fall I Paddle to the Middle of A Bowl of Trix”
Reviewed 29 January 2012

Its broad, quiet, mysterious, and historic. Sailing ships prized the water dark brown water here because it did not spoil on the long journey across the Atlantic. It was the center of a vast wilderness where native Americans and former slaves sought freedom in the swamp. It is beautiful especially if approached by canal past the Army Corps of Engineers spillway. There are occasionally trees and cypress knobs. On one visit I saw a black bear swim across the canal in front of my boat. Its a magical experience here though the hiking trail does not offer quite the same experience.

1 Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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