PADDLE TO THE PONIES
Fall trip in Chicoteague, Virginia
Sept. 29 – Oct 2
Bask in the fall glory of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge with your kayaking buddies. The club fall flat water trip will take place in Chincoteague, Virginia, for a long weekend of paddling the marshy shorelines and estuaries around Chincoteague Island.
One day we’ll paddle across the Assateague Channel to the sheltered side of Assateague Island where a short hike will take us to the Atlantic beaches where the wild ponies roam. After lunch on the beach we’ll paddle back, checking to see what’s going on in the nearby marshes along the way.
Another day, for the adventurous, we’ll run a trip to explore Chincoteague Inlet, where the open Atlantic meets the protected backwaters. This 8 to 10-mile paddle could prove challenging, crossing the zone where tidal currents and deep ocean swells mix it up. For those who prefer calmer waters, we’ll explore Tom’s Cove at the south end of Assateague Island, with a stop at the wildlife refuge visitor center. In either case, a cooling dip in the Atlantic will be an option.
There will also be time to explore the area around our accommodations, and early risers will be invited to join a sunrise bird and wildlife paddle.
Beyond paddling, the Chincoteague Creamery is famous for its ice cream, and demands exploration. The houses have two barbecues so we’ll do a cookout at least one night. Lawn games, anyone? There’s a seafood takeout restaurant nearby. Crabs and oysters, yum! We’ll visit a local restaurant on another night.
Accommodations will be mixed in group housing, motel rooms and campsites, all in close proximity to each other and the waterfront. We have rented two houses right on the water. Each holds eight people, but there is already a waiting list for the houses.
Very close by is Pine Grove Campground. They have campsites for $36 a night and RV sites with full hookups for $48 a night. The campground also has a motel-like building in the campground with five rooms. Each has two double beds. All five rooms are currently available.
If you want to stay in one of the houses, ask Linda Martin to put you on the waiting list. Send her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Costs will be split evenly among everyone in the houses and will run about $85 a person for the weekend. Shared food and any other miscellaneous costs will be extra.
If you want to stay at the campground, either camping or in one of the motel rooms, call Pine Grove and book directly with them: 757-336-5200. You’ll still be invited to join the rest of the group for meals at the houses, which are a short walk away. If you take this option, be sure to let Linda know you’ll be there so you’ll be on the paddler list. Your only extra expense will be a share of the food cost.
Chincoteague is about a 4½ – hour drive from the Lehigh Valley. We’ll plan on arriving around noon Friday and leave by noon on Monday.