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Sunset kayak tour set

By Henry Luzzatto

Correspondent

 

Summer nights are a chance to relax and commune with nature. Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve is offering just that with a guided sunset kayak tour at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.

The sunset paddle will be a chance for visitors to see the wildlife preserve after hours, Hoffler Creek Executive Director Helen Kuhns said.

“It’s kind of a magical time to be on the water,” Kuhns said.

During the night, she said, dragonflies rest on the marsh grass and one can see the sun set on the water.

The kayak tour costs $20 for members of Hoffler Creek and $35 for non-members. Volunteers who are experienced at kayaking will lead the paddle tour.

To begin the night, the group will paddle from Hoffler Creek to the mouth of the James River, where they will sit and watch the sun set before turning back.

“It’s a nice, calm way to end the day,” Kuhns said.

Hoffler Creek is a private, non-profit, 142-acre wildlife preserve on a tributary of the James River. Because it is a protected area for wildlife, it is a good place to observe animals in their natural habitats.

“It’s nice for paddling and there are quite a few mud flats for people to watch birds from,” Kuhns said.

The sunset paddle tour kicks off Hoffler Creek’s summer programs. The preserve offers chances to paddle on the water, as well as trails on land. The organization will offer other guided tours and educational programs this year.

Kuhns said the wildlife preserve helps people in the area reconnect with nature.

“It helps people get to know wildlife,” she said. “We’re so separated from nature, so it’s important to be able to share a space with it.”

She added that the sunset tour is a good introduction to Hoffler Creek.

“It’s a great way to meet Hoffler Creek,” Kuhns said. “Once you visit, you tend to come back.”

The event is an easy paddling trip, making it ideal for beginners as well as more experienced kayakers.

Registration for the sunset paddle must be done beforehand. There is no online registration, so participants can contact hofflercreek@hofflercreek.org or 686-8684 to register.

Kuhns said the best benefit of the tour is to relax and unwind on the water. “Nature provides a chance to clear minds, relax and reboot.”

The entrance to the preserve is located at 4510 Twin Pines Road in Portsmouth.