Ways to Enjoy The Water in Newport News
Of the 120 square miles that’s Newport News, did you know 51 square miles is water?
The city is located near the mouth of the James River, extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the Hampton Roads harbor.
That means water enthusiasts can take advantage of its many miles of waterfront – most along the mighty James River but also on tributaries like Deep Creek and Lucas Creek.
Enjoying the water is a favorite pastime in Newport News, whether it’s through soothing activities like kayaking or canoeing or through hobbies that take a little more skill, like sailing, paddle boarding, and fishing.
Even if you’re a landlubber, the water views in Newport News allow you to admire everything from stunning sunsets over the James River to massive naval vessels going in for repair at Newport News Shipyard!
Here are a few ways to enjoy the water that surrounds Newport News:
Deep Creek Landing Marina
200 Old Marina Lane
Newport News, VA 23602
Spend a few hours or the whole day paddling and exploring the calm waters of Deep Creek and discover the natural beauty of our local waterways. The marina also offers Friday Office Kayak Parties, BBQ Kayak Parties, and a 3-Month Unlimited Kayak Launch Pass, in addition to a place to store your kayak or paddleboard. Single, double, and triple kayaks available for rental. Call 757-877-9555 for details.
Canoeing, Paddle Boating, & Jon Boating
Newport News Park Campsite Office
13564 Jefferson Ave.
Newport News, VA 23603
Canoe, jon boat, and paddle boat rentals are available daily at the Newport News Park Campsite Office to those 16 and older. Paddles, oars, and personal flotation devices are provided. From May through October, Harwood's Mill, a 265-acre freshwater reservoir at the southeastern end of Newport News Park, offers kayak and Jon Boat rentals every weekend and on holidays. Call 757-888-3333 for details.
During the summer months, Deep Creek Landing offers a Youth Summer Sailing Camp for children ages 5 to 13. Kids are divided into two groups, based on their age. The “River Guppies,” for ages 5 to 7, is an introductory class for soon-to-be sailors. The primary focus is fun while gaining confidence on the water. The “River Otters,” for ages 8 to 13, is an entry-level class that introduces children to the basics of sailing. The camp teaches youngsters the basic rigging fundamentals, seamanship, water safety, and confidence in sailing all points of sail.
For launching a sailboat, motor boat, jet ski, or another type of vessel, you have a choice between freshwater and saltwater.
Freshwater launch sites in Newport News Park include a launch at the campground and one on Jefferson Avenue for Lee Hall Reservoir. There is also a freshwater launch site for Harwood’s Mill Reservoir.
Saltwater launch sites include:
- Denbigh Park Boat Ramp – Located at the western end of Denbigh Blvd., providing access to the Warwick River.
- Peterson's Yacht Basin – Located at 16th Street and Oak Avenue, providing access to the Hampton Roads Harbor.
- Huntington Park Boat Ramp – Located near the entrance to the James River Bridge on Mercury Boulevard, providing access to the James River.
Call 757-888-3333 or visit www.nnva.gov/792/Boating for details.
Those who like to fish have many options in Newport News! Free saltwater fishing piers are located at Hilton Pier and King-Lincoln Park, the Wave Screen Pier at King-Lincoln Park, Denbigh Park, and the Monitor-Merrimac Overlook. Huntington Park is home to the James River Fishing Pier, which requires a fee for fishing. Freshwater fishing is available at Lee Hall and Harwood’s Mill Reservoirs. Call 757-888-3333 to ask about any necessary permits and licenses.
Ways for Landlubbers to Enjoy the Water
Denbigh Boat Ramp - Denbigh Boat Ramp, at the western end of Denbigh Blvd., is on a tributary of the James River. It is part of a quiet, residential 13-acre park – the perfect place to unwind at the end of a busy day to enjoy its dazzling sunsets over the scenic and peaceful Warwick River.
Harwood’s Mill Reservoir - Located in Newport News Park, Harwood’s Mill Reservoir is a peaceful place to enjoy the setting sun after a long day.
Hilton Pier - Adjacent to Hilton Elementary school, Hilton Pier is known for its epic sunsets. Sit back and relax as you watch the sun drop behind the James River – either from the pier itself or from the small beach around it. Approximately 400 feet in length, this pier is the perfect place for taking in the beauty of the James River.
Huntington Park - Take in the sweeping panoramic views of the James River at sunset in Huntington Park, near the James River Bridge. Kick off your shoes to feel the sand between your toes while you watch that big ball of fire sink into the James River. Some of the most gorgeous sunsets can be found here.
King Lincoln Park - Located on the Hampton Roads Harbor, the land that makes up King Lincoln Park was once known as Pinkett’s Beach. In 1968, the 19-acre property was turned into a park. The site was named in memory of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lion’s Bridge - Located off the Noland Trail, Lion’s Bridge is made up of four stone lions mounted on the ends of a dam built in the 1930s to create Mariners’ Lake, the centerpiece of Mariners’ Museum Park. For a breathtaking view of the James River, visit Lion’s Bridge at sunset.
Noland Trail - With 5 miles of pathways and a forest that is plush and beautiful, the Noland Trail at Mariners’ Museum Park features 14 bridges and numerous benches to sit and enjoy majestic water views and marvel at the serenity you’ll find around Mariners’ Lake.