Exploring the James River

How do you River?

You can hike it, bike it, swim it, run it or raft it.

How you enjoy the James River is up to you.

Here are some resources to help connect you with your river.

How is the river in your area?

Many portions of the James River and tributaries are currently impaired due to excessive harmful bacteria. And for those who swim or recreate in the River, bacteria is an invisible pollutant that can pose serious health threats.

James River Watch website

We have a team of volunteers that take weekly water samples and report their findings to the James River Watch. Every Friday, from Memorial Day to Labor day, check the James River Watch for water conditions in your area.

Sturgeon on the Rise – How to Spot and Report an Atlantic Sturgeon Breach

An ancient creature is returning to the James River. It is continuing an annual migration that has taken place for eons, traveling great distances to reach its home spawning grounds. You can witness this endangered species return the James River where its...

From the Marsh: Native Plants

Marshes, like most other habitats, are best described by the plants that live in them. Differing conditions, such as the fluctuation of salinity and temperature, can allow for varied species to colonize areas. The marshes of Hampton Roads are home to many unique...

From the Marsh: Eastern Oysters

Welcome back to the marsh! At this time of the year, the heat from the summer is beginning to fade and the vast expanse of Spartina (also called Cordgrasses) turns from vibrant green to a more subdued gold. Gulls and terns begin their southward migration, while...

August Volunteer Opportunity Updates

Volunteers play a huge role in helping the James River Association achieve its mission. Much of our work would not be possible without the knowledge and dedication of our volunteers. Whether it’s getting your hands dirty with one of our Watershed...

Southern Leopard Frog

Have you ever heard a frog chuckle? The Southern Leopard Frog, scientific name Lithobates sphenocephalus, does!  During the breeding season, the male is said to have a chuckle-like call.  Though affected by urbanization, loss of water, and water pollution, these frogs...

Explore the river with Terrain 360

Through a partnership with Terrain360 and The Tomato Fund, you can explore the entire 340-mile length of the James River through high-resolution, 360-degree panoramic images. This website is a great resource for scouting out the river before you travel, or for armchair exploring!