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James River in Virginia

Trip Overview

Well the river was up several feet above the dam following all the rain we've had of late! We put in at a public access point in Glasgow where the James River and the Maury River meet. The river starts out mild with some fast moving flat water leading to some class I or II rapids. You can forge river right or left at this point its up to you. You will, at this point find it a bit more challenging to the left though. It gets good at this point as you pass the first large boulder poking out of the river (you cant miss it). The water is very fast moving right now and is a consistent class I from here until you come to the old balcony falls dam, which must be forged river left, (Ive seen it eat a few boats to the right!) I must say the falls are running a strong class IV right now and should not be taken lightly, with the river up it hides some VERY large rocks. From here some strong class II or maybe even class III's stretch the width of the river all the way down to the next gigantic boulder! Here (when the water levels are normal) people usually gather to jump off the huge boulder into a very deep pool its fun but not safe (you never know when the river will fill that hole.) Also Ive seen many kayakers drop off this boulder into the abyss only to surface moments later! From here the river gets a little lazy with only a few sporadic ripples left. It is a nice calm float for about 45 minutes where you take out at the public landing at rock roe run!


Camping is available (free on rock roe run no hookup tent camper access) and at wildwood campground (fee applies and you will pass it on your way in).


From 29 s from Charlottesville take a right on rt 130 as you are entering Madison Heights. Follow 130 till it meets 501. Keep on rt 130 about another 1/2 mile (get out point at rock roe run) to a public ramp on your right. Continue on rt 130 up and over a windy 2 lane road until you come to Glasgow. Take a left (sorry dont know rt number) cross rr tracks until you come to the bp gas station access point will be your next left.

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

Locations on this Trip