The Blackwater and Little Blackwater River systems are a great way to explore the National Wildlife Refuge by water. Three trails are available for paddling, with two of them open year-round.
The Green Trail in an “up and back” trail that originates from the Rt. 335 canoe launch and winds 4 miles up the Blackwater River.
The Orange Trail is also a round-trip trail that originates at the Shorters Wharf public boat ramp and runs 3.8 miles up Coles Creek.
The Purple Trail is a 9-mile one-way trail that traverses the marshes of the Blackwater River. The Purple Trail is closed from Sept. 30 through April 1 to protect migratory waterfowl.
A detailed waterproof map of the trails is available at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.
Visitor Center Hours of Operation: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on the weekend (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas).