Trip information - suggested routes, distance & difficulty
This is a great location for intermediate & advanced paddlers looking for some fun with the fetch across the James River with a West or Northwest wind, tidal currents, boating traffic and lack of "bailout" sites. One trip idea is to follow the shoreline NW past the shore side homes, the Mariners Museum Park (Lions Bridge) and Deep Creek, then finish at Denbigh boat ramp where some trip planners will have a second vehicle waiting. If winds are from the NW, another option is to launch at Denbigh Boat Ramp and surf to Huntington Park. Trip distance from Huntington Park to Denbigh boat ramp is approximately 10 miles. Kayak fisherman will usually paddle past the end of the fishing pier (leave plenty of room for the lead flingers on the pier!) and fish along the bridge.
Best time to paddle - Launch is open year round so paddlers with the appropriate gear will enjoy paddling here all season. There can be a lot of boating traffic so paddlers need to stay alert and cross main channels quickly.
Launch fees - none
Facilities at launch - restrooms, fishing pier, restaurant (Crab Shack)
Type of camping available - no established campsites
Commonly targeted fish - In fall and winter fishermen can find striper by the bridge, and in summer flounder and croaker can often be found in the lower James River.
Directions to put in - From Newport News Parks, Recreation and Tourism Website "Huntington Park is located at the intersection of Warwick Boulevard and Mercury Boulevard, nestled at the base of the James River Bridge. There are convenient park entrances at Hornet Circle and Warwick Boulevard (where the Peninsula YMCA is located) and at River Road and Mercury Boulevard (the last stop before the James River Bridge)".
Parking is available at the boat ramp for paddlers using trailers. This can be a very busy ramp so try to spend as little time on the ramp as possible. There is also a small sand beach to the right of the ramp with a grass area to unload. "Cartoppers" can park at the beginning of the parking lot going to the Crab Shack, launching at the beach where it meets the seawall.
Recommended boat types - Depending on trip plan the area is best for day tripping or touring kayaks with front and rear bulkheads (or bow and stern flotation) and 12 to 16ft sit on tops. As always, paddler skills are the greatest limiting factor. Paddlers in this area should pay attention to marine weather, understand tides and currents and be comfortable with self and assisted rescues.
Responsible agency overseeing the location - Newport News Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Additional info -
NOAA Tides and Currents - (Sewells Pt)
Newport News Parks, Recreation and Tourism link to Huntington Park