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Bring the whole family to Northern Neck for top notch paddling and much-needed bonding./Northern Neck Tourism

Plan to paddle the creeks and rivers of the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Eastern Shore this summer!

The Northern Neck is the northernmost of three large peninsulas (traditionally called “necks” in Virginia) on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. This peninsula is bounded by the Potomac River on the north and the Rappahannock River on the south and includes Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland Counties.

The Middle Peninsula is the next peninsula to the south, between the Rappahannock and York Rivers, including the Counties of Middlesex, Mathews, Essex, King William, King and Queen, and Gloucester. The Gloucester Blueways trail features five tidal rivers and dozens of navigable creeks.

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Have a big group? No worries — Northern Neck has plenty of water to explore for parties of all sizes./Northern Neck Tourism

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is between the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay and includes the Counties of Accomack and Northampton. Paddling destinations abound, but don’t miss the Assateague Island National Seashore or Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

With waterfront wineries, historic sites, museums and restaurants, the coastal region provides near-shore amenities as well as exceptional natural scenery along less developed water trails, such as Cat Point Creek Trail near Warsaw in the Northern Neck.

First explored by Captain John Smith four hundred years ago, the three Virginia peninsulas have launched a website to assist visitors in navigating their on-water experience: virginiawatertrails.org. Off-water, visitors are encouraged to use the trip planner developed through the Virginia Oyster Trail, virginiaoystertrail.com.

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With 733 acres, seven miles of shoreline on the Northern NeckÕs Rappahannock River, and access to Mulberry and Deep creeks, Belle Isle lets visitors explore a wide variety of tidal wetlands interspersed with agricultural fields and upland forests. Belle Isle has three picnic shelters, hiking, biking and bridle trails, motor boat and car-top launch and overnight lodging at the Bel Air Mansion and the Bel Air Guest House. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org/Northern Neck Tourism

For peninsula-specific attractions, lodging, and dining:

Northern Neck: northernneck.org

Middle Peninsula: virginiawatertrails.org/middle-peninsula

Eastern Shore: visitesva.com

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