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Take a Guided River Trip to Protect the James

River lovers can book a boat or paddle trip benefiting the James River Association.




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.

These trips are open to the public and offer unique opportunities for participants to support the organization while engaging with the river. 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, through a partnership with Artspace, from accomplished artist and seasoned instructor Paul “Buddy” Terrell.
“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 distinctly 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.
“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.
To book a private batteau trip for up to six people, visit All other river trips require pre-registration, and available dates and times can be found at

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.