Saturday, July 21, 2012

Don't go chasing waterfalls

Last week, I got the itch to go swimming, but not in a swimming pool. I wanted to go for a dip in a river or lake; something scenic and semi-rustic. Richmond has the James River running through it, but I am not brave enough to put anything past my knees into that water. The city's sewage often gets dumped into the James and I know of and have heard so many stories about people getting sick from swimming in the river. Also, on hots days, masses of people flock to the banks of the James and I wasn't really feeling up to dealing with a mob of strangers when I just wanted to relax.

I took to Google to see where I could find a nearby body of water to swim in. After some hunting, I came across a waterfall that was a little over an hour away: Nottoway Falls. I had never heard of it before and the thought of a waterfall was more appealing than a simple lake or river. I convinced the boyfriend to take the trip with me and we headed to Crewe, VA on our adventure.

We found the river with no problem and parked at the boat launch. The path to the waterfall was not marked, but it didn't take long for us to find it and trek past the dam. After a few more minutes walking the path and brushing aside cobwebs, it branched off to the river bank. What lay before us were the falls or, more accurately, what should have been the falls. Large, smooth shelves of dry rocks with a stream and small pools of water greeted us instead. The waterfall was mostly dried up.

Despite the disappointment, we sat on the rocks and had a picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. After noming, I sat in the stream of water and took in some sun. I should have thought that, with all the extreme heat we've been having, there would be a chance that the waterfall wouldn't have been at its peak. We bummed around the rocks a little while longer, then decided to check out the Crewe Railroad Museum before heading back home.

Apparently, Crewe had been built around the old Norfolk and Western (now Norfolk Southern) rail line and was the midway point between Norfolk and Roanoke. We hopped aboard the trains that they had on display outside before sweating our weight in water and calling it a day.

Even though I didn't get to go swimming like I had hoped, I had fun exploring a new part of the state. I'm still on the search for a swimming hole to take a dip in this summer and am hoping that a nearby lake will do the trick.


  1. Hahahahaha epic. You could always hit up the Rappahannock, just avoid the rapids...

    1. Ah yes, the Rappahannock. I'll add that to the list.