James River

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The James River is a popular location for boating, canoeing, and kayaking.

The river begins its journey in Botetourt County, winding through the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains on its way to the Chesapeake Bay. The unspoiled beauty of the river is more accessible than thanks to the Upper James River Water Trail. Paddlers, anglers and families can get back to nature and enjoy the sights and sounds of 45 miles of the Upper James, including 14 pristine miles designated as a Virginia Scenic River.

The largest drainage river in Virginia offers Class I to Class III+ rapids. Some of the most popular sections include:

  • Iron Gate to Eagle Rock
  • Eagle Rock to Springwood
  • Springwood to Buchanan to Arcadia
  • Arcadia to Glasgow
  • Balcony Falls (whitewater kayaking section)

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Tips to safely get outside:

  • Avoid heavy use areas and choose off-peak times
  • Limit group to your household
  • Pack out your trash
  • Bring a mask and wear it when passing others
  • Use our trail finder to find #thepathlesstraveled
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