Sunday, July 21, 2024

Take a Guided River Trip to Protect the James

(photo: James River Association)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — The James River Association (JRA) is offering guided river trips for people to enjoy the James River while learning about its wildlife, history, and natural resources.

The trips are open to the public and offer unique opportunities for participants to support the organization while engaging with the river, according to the JRA. Trip themes include birdwatching paddles, art and photography cruises, science-focused excursions, sturgeon-sighting trips, and historical batteau rides.

Trips are offered in three regions where JRA has a presence, including the greater Lynchburg, Richmond, and Williamsburg areas.

Starting with the Lower James, JRA’s Connect with the James program provides kayaking tours of Powhatan Creek in partnership with James City County, highlighting local wildlife and ecosystems.

Moving upriver to the Richmond region, the program offers pontoon boat cruises featuring the chance to watch Atlantic sturgeon breach, hear more about JRA’s river restoration efforts, and learn how to sketch the river from accomplished artist and seasoned instructor Paul “Buddy” Terrell through a partnership with Artspace.

“We’re excited to resume our Connect with the James programming for 2024 and offer some wonderful opportunities to enjoy the James,” said Mike Lyden, JRA’s Assistant Director of Operations. “Whether you take a paddle trip in the Lower James or join us for a pontoon boat excursion closer to Richmond, these trips provide the perfect blend of getting on the water, learning about your surroundings, and protecting the river.”

In the Lynchburg region, JRA’s Upper James River Center, located across the river from downtown Lynchburg, will provide guided river paddles, in addition to offering the unique opportunity to travel the James in a historically-accurate replica of a batteau boat. Participants can enjoy the sights, sounds, and solace along a lush and captivating stretch of the river, according to the JRA.

“One of my favorite parts of river season is giving people the chance to take a trip on our batteau,” said Rob Campbell, JRA’s Upper James Senior Regional Manager. “It allows river lovers to experience the James in a whole new way, learn about the history of the region, and enjoy the beautiful and peaceful surroundings of the Upper James.”

JRA provides canoes, kayaks, paddles, and personal flotation devices to participants. All fees associated with JRA’s guided river trips are donations to JRA to help protect the James and connect people to it.

The JRA is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 that serves the waterways and communities of the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000 square mile watershed, the JRA works toward its vision of a fully healthy James River supporting thriving communities.

For more information or to book a trip visit

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