Friday, January 16, 2015

York River (1/16/2015)

The York River is very interesting, it is only named the York when the Pamunkey and the Mattaponi come together at West Point.  At this point it becomes a very wide river.  The river has fairly steep slopes and except for some neighborhoods it is fairly undeveloped until you get to Yorktown.  Before Yorktown you have three areas that are owned by the Federal Government and you see signs on shore that tell you to stay away from these areas, or else!  Another stretch of the south shore of the river is a state park (York River State Park).  That's where we visited today.  The photo below was taken from the visitor's center, looking towards the northwest.

These facilities have a kayak launch and you can also rent kayaks if you don't have your own.  There is a great creek that runs through the marsh you can see below.  It has some fun wildlife, in particular a huge population of fiddler crabs.  Today we hiked along the marsh and saw a number of birds including two soaring bald eagles.  The north and west facing slopes of these marshes are spectacular.  I absolutely love the ecology of the area.  It still amazes me to see pretty darn big trees in this area and a dense understory of mountain laurel (yes they do grow here on the coastal plains).  The photograph below was taken near one of the bird watching platforms in the creek (yes this is a great bird watching area).

I assume that the park is across an area where the native American population lives that became a Disney legend. Archaeologists and historians place Pocahontas' village on north shore of the York. How's that for historical significance.  I guess that's why there was this thing in the local newspaper today telling us that some citizens are trying to get an historic and ecological significance designation for the river.  Hopefully this will be successful.

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