Connect with the James

We are very excited to start our paddling adventures back this spring and are asking participants to help us run programs as safely as possible. Please know that the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus cannot be completely eliminated. JRA asks each participant to fully participate in guidelines and understand the risks, including observing 6 feet of distance between you and others whenever possible and wearing masks on our Pontoon Boat.

Please delay any booking or immediately cancel reservations if you, or anyone in your household, have experienced any of the following symptoms in the 14 days prior to your trip: new or worsening cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fever greater than 100.4ºF; chills; unexplained muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. We also ask you to refrain from activity if you have knowingly been in contact with anyone with confirmed COVID-19 14 days prior to this activity.

James River Guided Paddles

Join the James River Association on guided canoe and kayak programs on the James River and its tributaries in the Richmond region.

Pontoon Boat Tours

Join our education team on ‘The Spirit of the James’, for a tour near Richmond, VA.

The Great Return

Celebrate James River Week and the Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon with the James River Association!

Guided Paddle Trips

Preregistration is required for all programs. Participants must review and agree to the Essential Eligibility Criteria and the Release and Waiver of Liability to participate. The James River Association will provide canoes and kayaks, paddles, and personal flotation devices to participants. Participants are encouraged to bring sunscreen, a hat, a reusable water bottle, and wear comfortable clothing appropriate for being outdoors and getting wet.

 
If you have any questions about our programs, please contact Mike Lyden at mlyden@thejamesriver.org 

Cancellation Policy

Registration fees are not refundable, in the event of a cancellation, we will change your fee to a tax deductible donation. Please cancel your trip a minimum of 72 hours in advance so we have ample time to alert our staff. In the event a program is canceled, James River Association staff members will make an effort to reschedule it. 

Sign up for notifications

Interested in a paddle that hasn’t opened for registration? Our guided Connect with the James paddles fill up quickly, sign up here to receive a notification when trip registration open.

Connect with the James FAQs

I received an email about a trip, but I do not see it listed below. How can I find it?

Some of our trips fill up very quickly. If you received an email about an open trip, but the booking information is not listed below, the trip has been filled. Some trips fill within 12 hours of an announcement.

What ages can participate?

Anyone ages 16 and over may participate on a Connect with the James paddle. We do require a parent or guardian to register and fill out the waiver on the minors behalf.

Do you supply all the equipment?

Yes, JRA supplies the vessel, life jacket, paddle and shuttling of equipment. Participants are required to wear closed toe shoes, and are encouraged to wear sunscreen lotion, a hat and attire appropriate for the weather and bring a water bottle.

Can I move to a different trip?

We can possibly move your trip registration to a later date, if spots are available. Please contact info@thejamesriver.org to inquire about a rebooking, at least one week in advance of your scheduled trip.

Can I get a refund?

In the event of a weather cancellation, we will do everything we can to rebook you to a new trip date. If you are unable to make your trip, please let us know at least three days in advance and we can move you to a different trip. Registration fees are not refundable, in the event of a cancellation that can not be rescheduled, we will change your fee to a tax deductible donation.

Where do I meet the trip guide?

Each paddle below has a google map to the location site. Please use those directions to guide you to the appropriate location.

The Connect with the James 2021 season is made possible through funding from National Park Service Chesapeake Bay and in part by funds generated from the sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates.

Explore the Fall Line by Canoe 

A 1.5 hour guided tour of Richmond’s Fall Line by canoe. Two James River Association Environmental Educators will meet you at Ancarrow’s Landing. We will paddle in the heart of downtown Richmond up to the fall line. JRA educators will discuss Ancarrows, Great Shiplock Park and the Fall Line.

Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 – 4:30 pm
Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 – 6:30 pm
Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 – 4:00 pm
Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 – 6:00 pm
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2021 – 3:00 pm
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2021 – 5:00 pm

Explore Four Mile Creek by Canoe 

A 1.5 hour guided tour of Four Mile Creek by canoe led by two JRA Environmental Educators beginning at Henrico County Deep Bottom Park. The paddle is flat water section of the James that has many tidal wetlands. Birds, turtles, and wetlands plants are the attractions.

Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 – 4:30 pm
Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 – 6:30 pm
Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 – 4:00 pm
Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 – 6:00 pm

Explore Turkey Island Creek by Canoe

 A 1.5 hour guided canoe tour of Turkey Island Creek. Participants will launch from the James River Association’s Turkey Island Creek property and learn about the natural and historic resources of Turkey Island Creek and the James River.

Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 – 4:00 pm
Friday, Aug.t 6, 2021 – 6:30 pm
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 – 4:00 pm
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 – 6:30 pm

 

Explore Powhatan Creek by Kayak – FREE – Registration required

Join the James River Association for a guided tour of Powhatan Creek by kayak. Participants will launch from Powhatan Creek Park and learn about the natural and historic resources of Powhatan Creek and the James River. Kayaks, paddles, and personal flotation devices will be provided by James City County. 

Monday, August 2, 2021 – 5:30 pm
Monday, August 9, 2021 – 5:30 pm
Tuesday, September 7, 2021 – 5:30 pm
Monday, October 4, 2021 – 5:30 pm

Pontoon Boat Tours

Explore Presquile National Wildlife Refuge – Pontoon Boat

Join the James River Association for a pontoon boat ride to Presquile National Wildlife Refuge for a specialty program provided by JRA educators.  Presquile is a 1,329-acre island  wildlife refuge and the home to our James River Ecology School. The recent structure change in our school system has enabled our educators to offer new opportunities to adults this fall. We have a limited capacity and encourage participants to bring masks.

No trips at this time.

Pontoon Boat Tour at Rockett’s Landing

This hour long tour on the river will give you an opportunity to get on the water and see Richmond from the James River. JRA Educators will also talk about current topics facing the James and efforts to protect the James River. We have a limited capacity and encourage participants to bring masks.

No trips at this time.

Pontoon Boat Tour and Fish trawl

You will have a chance to ride on our educational pontoon boat, The Spirit of the James, as well as experience JRA educators doing a fish trawl in Herring Creek. This educational experience will give you an opportunity to learn about and see for yourself the fish that live in the James River! We have a limited capacity and encourage participants to bring masks.

No trips at this time.

The Great Return

Celebrate James River Week and the Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon with the James River Association! Join staff members on a guided canoe program or an outing on the Spirit of the James, the James River Association’s pontoon boat. Participants will learn about the natural resources of the James River and the endangered Atlantic sturgeon, which make an annual migration up the James River in late summer where they often can be seen breaching out of the water!

 

The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon (Canoe Programs – Ages 16+) $20/participant

Celebrate James River Week and the Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon with the James River Association! Join staff members on a guided canoe program launching from Henrico County’s Osborne Park & Boat Landing. Participants will learn about the natural resources of the James River and the endangered Atlantic sturgeon, which make their annual spawning migration up the James River in late summer.

Friday, September 17, 2021: 4pm, 6pm

The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon (Pontoon Boat – Spirit of the James) $25/participant

Celebrate James River Week and the Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon with the James River Association! Join staff members for an outing on the Spirit of the James launching from Rocketts Landing Marina. Participants will learn about the natural resources of the James River and the endangered Atlantic sturgeon, which make their annual spawning migration up the James River in late summer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
Thursday, September 16, 2021: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
Friday, September 17, 2021: 10am, 12pm, 2pm