***FYI- Water levels at the Robertson Millpond are super-low right now, which may necessitate paddlers doing an out-and-back trip to about buoy number 26 or getting out and sliding their boat through the shallows before continuing on. Still super-awesome and still totally worth doing.***
If a tree falls in a sunken forest, does it make a sound? Come find out.
The Robertson Millpond kayak rental is the newest addition to the Paddle Creek line up, and maybe the coolest. Follow the buoys on a paddling trail through the only bald cypress blackwater swamp in Wake County. This 85-acre pond was created when Buffaloe Creek was dammed in the 1820’s. Paddle past the original dam as you start your journey into the sunken forest. Located just 25 minutes from Downtown Raleigh in Wendell, it is a quick drive to get into a whole different world.
How It Works
We will be at Robertson Millpond Preserve on Saturdays from 9am-5pm with solo and tandem kayaks. You can reserve them ahead of time online to guarantee availability, or just walk up and rent one (based on availability). Reservations are available each half hour. All kayaks must be returned by 5pm, so the last 1-hour rentals go out at 4pm and the last 2-hour rentals go out at 3pm. There is a 1-hour minimum on all rentals.
The paddling trail consists of 73 buoys that lead you on a 1.15-mile loop through the forest. In some places the pond opens up and feels like a small lake and in other places the trail is not much wider than your kayak. In most cases the next buoy is obvious, but occasionally you have to search around for a glimpse of white through the trees and the next destination in your adventure.
With a relaxed paddling speed, one hour is just enough time to complete the trail. Two hours will give you time to explore, relax, and enjoy the surroundings. Or bring a fishing pole and stay out as long as the fish keep biting.
Robertson Millpond FAQ’s
- What type of paddling is it? It is all flatwater, and very protected from the wind (you are literally in a forest). There is no detectable current.
- Where do I start and end? You’ll start and end at the same place (It is a loop). There is a beach-type launch.
- How many buoys are there? 73. It is a 1.15 mile loop.
- What kind of kayaks will you have? We will have solo (1-person) and tandem (2-people) kayaks. They are all sit-on-top models. More info about our boats can be found here.
- Will you have canoes or paddleboards? Nope and nope.
- How old do I have to be to rent a kayak? There must be an adult (18 or older) present to rent a kayak.
- How old do I have to be to kayak? Paddlers 16 years old or older can paddle in a solo kayak by themselves. There is no minimum age to paddle in a tandem kayak with an adult. We have child (30-60lbs) and youth (60-90lbs) life vests available.
- Is this good for kids? Absolutely! It is calm water and lots of places to explore. The kayaks are stable and easy to use. It is the perfect family activity.