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 Aaron Bouchard at abouchard@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 24 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.

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, May 13 – 4:00pm & 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, May 26 – 4:00pm & 6:00pm

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.

 

  • Thursday, May 20 – 4:00pm & 6:00pm

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.

Explore James River National Wildlife Refuge by Canoe 

This 1.5 hour guided excursion will be led by two JRA Environmental Educators. The paddle is a flat water section of the James that has many tidal wetlands. Birds, turtles, and wetlands plants are the attractions.

 

  • Saturday, May 15th – 9:00am & 11:00 am
  • Saturday, June 5 – 10:00am & 12:00pm

Migratory Birds of Powhatan Creek Paddle Trips – FREE – Registration required

Join the James River Association for a guided tour of Powhatan Creek, led by expert birders. Participants will learn about the natural and historic resources of Powhatan Creek and the James River with any emphasis on the diverse migratory bird species found in the area. Kayaks/canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices will be provided. 

  • Saturday, May 22 – 8:00am

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 James City County Marina 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.

 

Explore Powhatan Creek by Canoe – FREE – Registration required

 Join the James River Association for a guided tour of Powhatan Creek by canoe. Participants will learn about the natural and historic resources of Powhatan Creek and the James River. Canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices will be provided by the James River Association. This is an out-and-back paddle and does not require a shuttle.

  • Monday, May 3, 5:30pm
  • Monday, June 7, 5:30pm
  • Monday, June 21: 5:30pm

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.

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.

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.

Pontoon Boat Tour and Canoe Paddle at Presquile National Wildlife Refuge

Presquile is a 1,329-acre island wildlife refuge and the home to our James River Ecology School. JRA educators will then guide you on a canoe paddle through the wetlands on the refuge. All equipment is provided.

Pontoon Boat Trip and Birding at Presquile National Wildlife Refuge

Presquile is a 1,329-acre island wildlife refuge and the home to our James River Ecology School. JRA educators will provide a guided migratory bird tour on the trails of Presquile NWR.

  • Saturday, May 8 – 7:30 am & 11:30 am
  • Saturday, May 21 – 7:30 am & 11:30 am

Pontoon Boat Tour and Hike – Explore Presquile National Wildlife Refuge

Take a ride on the JRA educational vessel, Spirit of the James, and join JRA educators on a on a 2 mile hike around Presquile NWR

  • Thursday, June 10 – 10:00 am

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.

The 2020 Season has ended, join next year during James River Week!

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.

The 2020 Season has ended, join next year during James River Week!