Cruising Destinations

Dismal Swamp Canal is Open

Dismal Swamp Canal map

Credit | Tom Fish Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Dismal Swamp Canal OPEN to navigation & locks operating on normal schedule as of 4/8/24.

The Dismal Swamp Canal is an alternate route along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW), connecting the Chesapeake Bay with the Albemarle Sound. The AIWW provides pleasure boats with a protected inland channel between Norfolk, Virginia, all the way to Miami, Florida. The Canal is on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic Landmark, noted as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and has received the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Designation. The Welcome Center is home to a 150' face dock that provides a rest stop to nearly 2,000 boaters yearly.

Boating Tips for the Dismal Swamp Canal

  • Slow and Steady - No Wake Zone
  • Do Not Follow Boats Closely - Maintain distance between boats when traveling to help minimize taps & bumps
  • Lookout Above & Below - Stay center of channel for clearance & depth
  • Inform - Note coordinates of any concerns and share info with lockmaster, USACE, or DSWC Staff.