Cat Point Creek is a winding, freshwater creek with headwaters starting in Westmoreland County, snaking its way 18 miles down into the Rappahannock River at Naylor’s Beach. The Menokin launch point is at about the midway point. On the opposite shore is a high point along the creek bank known as Dancing Point, site of a former Rappahannock Indian village. Here you enter the creek at its broadest spot, known as Menokin Bay. The water is still partially brackish and the landscape is mostly marsh, lined also with new riparian forest..
As you paddle upriver, the creek eventually begins to get smaller and more intimate. Bald eagles abound along this creek, hunting for fish and other wildlife. The edges are lined with wild rice, lily pads, pickerel and giant cane. Travel for about two hours and you will have reached about as far as one can in a boat. At this point the creek becomes very small, a canopy of trees shades the sun, and fallen trees are strewn about the river. Here the river is completely freshwater, the marshes have disappeared, and we have a small forest of hardwood trees. This is a very special paddle. There are practically no visible signs of civilization. You feel like you’ve found your own private passageway to paradise.
By Alice French, Menokin Foundation
Alice French is the Public Outreach & Education Coordinator for the Menokin Foundation in Warsaw. For more information, please log onto www.menokin.org or call (804) 333-1776