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The Sunken Forest


I stop paddling and let my momentum carry me into the shadows. As I lay back into the seat of my kayak, I listen. It is silent. Not actually silent, but nature silent. No cars, no weedwackers, no cellphones. I guess, technically, it is actually pretty loud. There are bugs buzzing in the distance, and the baby herons are so loud, it is really hard to hear much of anything else. Every now and then a large shadow crosses above me, and sometimes I can make out the outline of a big heron. When that happens, the forest erupts into a cacophony (High school vocab word put to use) of clucks, honks, and screeches. I am kayaking on what is effectively the forest floor, with the tops of the trees 50, maybe more, feet above me. In the tops of the trees are the heron nests, and from the sound of it, there must be dozens of them.

I am paddling in Robertson Millpond Preserve, one of Wake County’s newest facilities. It is a sunken forest, and the only stand of bald cypress trees in the Triangle. There is a paddling trail marked with buoys that leads me past the old dam and into the forest. Sometimes the next buoy is obvious and other times I am left scanning the trees for a small glimpse of white, and my next waypoint. I have paddled a lot of places in the Triangle, but I can truly say that this is the most unique paddling experience in this area. It is really cool. Definitely worth the 20-minute drive to Wendell.

Paddle Creek will be offering Hourly Kayak Rentals here on Saturdays starting on May 14th. Get more info…