Cruising from the Deep Creek to Dismal Swamp Welcome Center in November

We traversed this waterway twice; once going north in May on the Intracoastal Waterway and second going south in November. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Dismal Swamp Canal and it’s one of our favorite parts of the Intracoastal Waterway on our Great Loop journey, hence we decided to travel on it southbound instead of traversing through the Virginia Cut. This trip through the canal will be shared with our Buddy Boat, SV Acadia and our friends, Andy, Gwen, and their dog Aiden from Abroad Reach Travel, as we all head south for the winter.

The Dismal Swamp Canal is full of United States history! The canal was dug by hand with enslaved labor to connect the Chesapeake Bay in the north with the Albemarle Sound in the south. It took 12 years to complete and was open for use in 1805. It was an integral part of US history as it relates to the Civil War, the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, and Black History in the United States. The Canal is on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic Landmark, noted as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and has received the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Designation.

The fall colors were incredible to see! This time around, we got the enjoy the beauty of the changing fall colors. It was a cold but sunny day that made the reds, oranges, yellows and green even more vibrant. We love going through this section of the Intracoastal Waterway because the water is so still and gives a gorgeous reflection on the incredibly still water giving us almost an effect of an optical illusion.

There are multiple ways to explore and enjoy the Dismal Swamp Canal today. One of the most popular ways is the nature trails for walking and biking that run alongside to the canal. The trails run over 8 miles and are a great way to enjoy the water in any season of the year. 

This is one of our absolute favorite parts of the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s ease to navigate and the slower than slow pace makes it such an enjoyable cruise.

As we made our way south, we left Virginia and entered into South Carolina! 

Once we arrived to the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center, we got off the boat for a workout. Being on the boat all day can make us a bit stir crazy, so any opportunity to get off the boat and stretch our legs, or in this case get a nice workout in, we always jump on those opportunity. 30 minutes later, our workout was done. This may have been one of the most unique and history filled places we’ve worked out. 

Once we arrived to the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center, we got off the boat for a workout. Being on the boat all day can make us a bit stir crazy, so any opportunity to get off the boat and stretch our legs, or in this case get a nice workout in, we always jump on those opportunity. 30 minutes later, our workout was done. This may have been one of the most unique and history filled places we’ve worked out. 

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