The Dismal Swamp Canal and the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal form alternate routes along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) between the Chesapeake Bay and Albemarle Sound. The AIWW provides pleasure boaters and commercial shippers with a protected inland channel between Norfolk, Virginia and Miami, Florida. The history of these two canals, which contain the only locks along the AIWW, paints a vivid picture of the development of transportation that goes back over 200 years. Boating and fishing are allowed at Lake Drummond in the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge.
The Dismal Swamp Canal is located along Route 17 in Chesapeake, Virginia. A city boat launch is available at the intersection of Ballahack Road, and picnic areas are located along Route 17. The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal cuts through Chesapeake and VI.