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“Unique and Beautiful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond
Norfolk, VA
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Ranked #30 of 54 things to do in Norfolk
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Attraction details
Owner description: The origins of the largest natural lake in Virginia still remain a mystery.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
77 attraction reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
“Unique and Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 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
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6 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norfolk, Virginia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Give it a shot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Nice place to bike to and kayak to...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, Virginia
Top Contributor
289 reviews 289 reviews
73 attraction reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“One Fall I Paddle to the Middle of A Bowl of Trix”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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