James River Relief

Free Paddle Trips to Hospital Workers

James River Relief is back for the 2021 season, and we’re excited to welcome healthcare workers on the water! For the past 16 months, Virginia hospital workers have been challenged like never before, putting their lives on the line and working long hours battling Covid-19. The James River Association wants to thank hospital workers for their time and service by offering them a break to find solace and relaxation on the river through our James River Relief program.

James River Relief will provide paddle trip & rental options to doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff on the frontlines through partnering with several regional outfitters, include RVA Paddlesports and Crosswind Paddle Company in Richmond, James River Reeling & Rafting in Scottsville, and Rivanna River Company in Charlottesville. The program will also provide trips through JRA’s outfitter, James River Adventures in Lynchburg and through JRA’s Connect with the James programs in Richmond, Hopewell, and James City County.

“The James River Relief Program takes care of those who have been courageously taking care of our communities. Our health care workers have been on the front lines since the beginning of this crisis, and we are deeply grateful for their unwavering dedication to the well-being of Virginians. The mental and physical health benefits of the outdoors will allow these heroes to find healing, solace, and rest after months of stress. I am grateful to the James River Association for their support of the health care community.”

Daniel Carey, MD, MHCM

Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources

   How it Works

  • Hospital workers are encouraged to fill out the participant form with their contact information, place of employment and outfitter preference. Only one trip per individual will be offered.
  • Each of our partner outfitters are offering different opportunities, so please familiarize yourself with each outfitter, their location and their program. Once you have registered, you are unable to switch outfitters.
  • Even though we greatly appreciate the services of all essential workers, because of the limited nature of this program, we are only able to offer this opportunity to current hospital workers.
  • Many outfitters will allow your family or friends to join you on your trip, but only the registered participant will receive a free or discounted trip.
  • Each outfitter may require proof of hospital employment or other documentation.
  • After registration, you will receive a confirmation email with a code to use for booking with your chosen outfitter. If you do not receive an email within 48 hours, please let us know at info@thejamesriver.org.
  • This promotion ends September 30 , 2021 or while spots last. All trips must be booked with your preferred outfitter during the 2021 river season.

   Registration Steps

Step 1

Research the below outfitter programs and fill out the registration form.

Step 2

Check your email for a booking code.

Step 3

Visit your preferred outfitter’s website and use your unique code to book your trip at a time convenient to you.

    Partner Outfitters

Connect with the James

Richmond, Hopewell, Williamsburg  VA

Enjoy a spot on one of our Connect with the James guided paddle trips in Richmond, Hopewell or Williamsburg.

Trips are at a pre-set time and date. The 2021 schedule is available on our website. We are unable to ‘hold’ spaces for friends and family.

RVA Paddlesports

Richmond, VA

Trips run out of Deep Bottom Park & Four Mile Creek.

Enjoy a 2 hour guided flatwater kayak tour on the James River OR a flatwater single kayak rental.

Crosswind Paddle Co.

Richmond, VA

Paddles run out of Huguenot Flatwater Park in Richmond, VA

Free hourly rental of a standup paddleboard to be redeemed on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

James River Adventures

Madison Heights, VA

A free hourly rental of a kayak or canoe.



James River Reeling & Rafting

Scottsville, VA

A free tubing or paddling trip on their four mile route. 

Rivanna River Company

Charlottesville, VA

Choose from a variety of rentals with a discount of $39, which will cover the majority of paddles under tube, kayak, canoe or SUP rental, with gear transport.