Mathews Blueways is an interconnected system of five separate water trails spanning Mathews County. The 90 miles of trails are particularly suited for small hand-powered craft such as canoes and touring kayaks.
Mathews County is located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and offers more than 200 miles of shoreline. There are three tidal rivers and 50 navigable creeks with dozens of access sites, offering a scenic network of water and land trails to explore.
Captain John Smith's shallop passed southward along the coastline of Matthews County in the darkness of the night, on July 18, 1608, staying close to the coastline to avoid the rough waters of the open Bay. Smith was injured. The previous day a cownose ray speared his wrist at the site he named Stingray Point (near Deltaville, Virginia) A few days later the shallop arrived in Jamestown, concluding Smith's first voyage of exploration of the Chesapeake, but Smith returned
in August to explore the Piankatank and other rivers he had missed.
Please note that boating, canoeing, kayaking and other activities on rivers and bays can be dangerous. Obtain a water trail map and guide in advance, plan your trip, and follow all safety precautions.