James River State Park

Quick Facts

James River State Park

Virginia

(434) 933-4355

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

James River State Park, six miles down river from Bent Creek, opened June 20, 1999. The park has three miles of river frontage, 1,500 acres of rolling farm meadows, three fishing ponds, beautiful vistas, 15 miles of hiking trails and quiet forests.

The waters of the James have shaped life in this area's past and will shape its future. Monacan Indians, the earliest known settlers, hunted, fished and traveled the river. In the early 1700s, the Cabell family settled along the river, cultivated the rich soils of the floodplain and shipped produce down river to Richmond. A flat-bottomed boat known as the bateau was invented and the Kanawha canal was built to make travel and shipping on the river easier. The James River brought people to this area, provided for their needs and helped them build a future.

The park offers opportunities to explore the wildlife and habitat native to the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Whether floating, fishing or hiking, you can enjoy breathtaking views found only at James River State Park.

Map of James River (VA)

Latitude, Longitude: 37.623271, -78.809896

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Activities

  • Boating

    There's an excellent canoe livery here that enables you to float as many as eight miles of the river. This park has a canoe launch in the Canoe Landing area and a trailer boat launch at Dixon Landing.

  • Bicycling

    The park has nearly 15 miles of multi-use trails for biking.

  • Camping

    Camping reservations are highly recommended. The park has three campgrounds. Two of them, Branch Pond and Canoe Landing, are open year-round for primitive camping. There are primitive restrooms in each campground. Drinking water is unavailable in the primitive campgrounds, but potable water is available at five of the six picnic shelters. Canoe Landing is the only campground on the river.

    Red Oak Campground has 30 regular sites with water and electricity and a full service bathhouse with laundry facilities. The campground, about 1.5 miles from the primitive campgrounds, is open annually from March 1 to first Monday in December. It is not on the river. Reservations are not site specific. Check-in is 4 p.m.; check-out is 3 p.m. If you arrive earlier than 4 p.m., the park will accommodate you as soon as possible. You are welcome to enjoy the park until then.

    Campers without a reservation (i.e., walk-ins) should take extra care to make sure a site is available before using the honor system and setting up. Park staff members assign reserved sites by 4 p.m.; sites not posted by that time may be used by walk-ins on a nightly basis.

  • Fishing

    The park is a hot spot for smallmouth bass fishing, and catfish, pan fish and the occasional monster musky can be caught as well. The park also has three freshwater ponds for those looking for a more sedate fishing. A valid state fishing license is required and may be purchased at the park.

  • Hiking

    The park has nearly 15 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking and bridle use. Green Hill Trail and the fishing pier are wheelchair accessible.

  • Horseback Riding

    The park has nearly 15 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking and bridle use.

  • Picnicking

    Please contact the park for more information.

  • Water Sports

    Please contact the park for more information.

Directions

Driving

Buckingham County. From U.S. 60 West, turn right onto Route 605 (Riverside Dr.) at the James River Bridge. Travel seven miles, then turn left onto Route 606.

From Richmond, travel west on Rt. 60 towards Amherst for about 60 miles. Turn right onto Rt. 605 (Riverside Dr.), and go 7 miles to the park entrance on the left. From Lynchburg, travel east on 460 to Appomattox. Take the Rt. 26 exit (Business 460). Turn left at stop sign onto Rt. 26 (Oakville Rd.). Continue about 12 miles to stop sign at Rt. 60 and go straight across Rt. 60 onto Rt. 605 (Riverside Dr.). Continue 7 miles to the park entrance on left. From Farmville, travel Rt. 15 north to Dillwyn, Sprouses Corner. Turn left onto Rt. 60 west and continue for about 25 miles. Turn right on Rt. 605 (Riverside Dr.) and go about 7 miles to park entrance on left. Drive Time : Northern Va., three hours; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, four hours; Roanoke, two hours

Phone Numbers

Primary

(434) 933-4355

Links