your paddlesports destination

James River in Virginia

Trip Overview

Start- 1015am Stop- 230pm 30 min Lunch
USGS 02029000 JAMES RIVER AT SCOTTSVILLE, VA- 3,000 CFS- 4.20 Feet

We dropped a truck off at Columbia boat ramp around 830am and got to the New Canton boat ramp around 915am and of course it was raining. There was no cell service at the ramp and we couldn�t see what the radar looked like, so, we waited it out. As the rain tapered off, we unloaded the boats and headed out on the water. The first � of a mile went well, although the sun wasn�t out, then, right after the power station, the bottom dropped out and it started dumping rain on us. This was to the point that we debated paddling back up to the landing. Instead we pulled off the river into a pool under some trees and decided to have a beer. After waiting about 30-45 minutes through a downpour, the skies opened up and the sun came out. After the rain stopped, it stayed sunny the remainder of the float. 2 � miles in there is an old tanker in the water. After that, there is a few fun sets of rapids that can be surfed, although not much room. Then the rapids before Spicers Island which are Class I on one side and can be made into a Class II on the other. Just depends what you want to get yourself into. A couple more sets of Class I rapids before the take out. We stopped on a rock in the middle of the river for lunch. The water was clear down to about 3 feet but we were not able to see any fish. We saw a Bald Eagle multiple times and saw two or three ospreys.

The ramp at New Canton is concrete and the take out at Palmyra is concrete as well. Both very nice ramps. There were people taking off at both ramps with john boats going fishing.





  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip