March 4, 2021


Erin Hillert
Marketing & Communications Manager
James River Association

Richmond, Virginia Recognized as Best Urban Kayaking Spot by USA Today

USA Today recently recognized the James River in Richmond, Virginia as one of the ten best urban kayaking spots in the United States. The James River ranked second behind the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio in the 2021 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest.

Bill Street, Chief Executive Officer of the James River Association, issued the following statement: “Richmond is a fantastic urban setting to enjoy and explore by kayak. The James River flows through the heart of the city and offers fun and excitement for kayakers of all ability levels. From the tranquil waters of Huguenot Flatwater to the Class IV whitewater of Hollywood and Pipeline rapids, Richmond has it all.”

Richmond’s beloved James River Park System saw over 2.1 million visitors last year, a new attendance record for the 600-acre riverside park. Riverside parks up and downriver of Richmond also saw high visitation last year.

“Blue spaces, like green spaces, offer venues for outdoor recreation that promote mental and physical well being,” said Street. “With fewer indoor places to go during the COVID-19 pandemic, Richmonders have flocked to riverside parks for recreation, comfort, and enjoyment.”

The James River Association creates opportunities for people to enjoy and appreciate the river and recently opened registration for the 2021 season of their “Connect with the James” guided river trips. These programs are open to the public and provide a one-of-a-kind experience to enjoy the James River and its tributaries while learning about local history and natural resources. Opportunities include canoeing, kayaking, and pontoon boat tours in the Richmond and Williamsburg areas. For more information about programs, visit

ABOUT THE JAMES RIVER ASSOCIATION: The James River Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to serve as a guardian and voice for the James River. Throughout the James River’s 10,000-square mile watershed, the James River Association works toward its vision of a fully healthy James River supporting thriving communities. The James River Association believes that “when you change the James, the James changes you”. With offices in Lynchburg, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Scottsville, the James River Association is committed to protecting the James River and connecting people to it. For more information visit