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James River in Virginia

Trip Overview

Ancarrow's Landing (Richmond) to Hopewell

If you're game for a solid 8 hour journey down the lower James River, this is it. Put in at Ancarrows landing in Richmond VA, just south of the rapids downtown. Canoe trip began easy enough, watching ducks and the occasional goose. Straight river until Osbourne landing. Great place to stop and eat lunch, full facilities here.

Along this run there are a lot of Civil War sites such as Drewery's bluff, It was the site of Confederate Fort Darling during the American Civil War. It was named for a local landowner, Confederate Captain Augustus H. Drewry. On March 17, 1862, the men of Captain Drewry's Southside Artillery arrived at the bluff and began fortifying the area. They constructed earthworks, erected barracks, dug artillery emplacements, and mounted three large seacoast guns (one 10-inch Columbiad and two 8-inch Columbiads) in the fort. They were joined in early May by the crew of the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia which had been scuttled at Craney Island on Hampton Roads to avoid capture as Norfolk fell to Union forces. Commander Ebeneezer Farrand supervised the defenses of the fort. He ordered numerous ships to be sunk as obstructions in the river beneath the bluff. Six more large guns occupied pits just upriver from the fort. Men worked around the clock to ensure a full state of readiness when the Union fleet arrived. The Battle of Drewry's Bluff took place on May 15, 1862. After considerable bombardment, the Union Naval vessels retreated, and Richmond was safe from attack by water.

Leave Osbourne landing and the trip becomes very winding and more remote. many nice homes, and wildlife including Eagles, Osprey, Deer, ducks, and many turtles.

End of trip is Hopewell Marina, but to get there you have a very wide section of the James to cross as it meets the Appomattox river mouth. This section is difficult, as chop can be high (2feet) when we crossed. Currents are strong but it is doable. Put out at marina 8 hours later.

If you choose to continue down the James there are a lot of interesting sites as well as several islands to explore within 2 miles.


Restroom at Ancarrow's but it's a portajohn.

Half way thru trip is a nice marina.




95 to Maury street exit. Follow signs for boat landing.
Maury is south of Richmond city limits.

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

Locations on this Trip