Our First Canoe Trip Down The James River

By Len | James River

May 30

Janet and I bought ourselves a canoe for Christmas this year and the time has finally come to take it down the river. It’s been a wet cool spring and high water and cool temperatures have kept us from floating the river thus far. We have been canoeing and fishing with it at Holiday Lake State Park but today we are running the river for the first time. We’ve chosen an easy and convenient 12 mile float out of downtown Lynchburg to the Joshua Falls boat landing in Campbell County.

There is a choice of two launch sites. On the Lynchburg side of the river you have the city public boat ramp and on the Amherst County side you have the boat ramp at the James River Float Company which used to be the Smiley Block boat ramp. We decided to put in at the Lynchburg City boat ramp.

The water was running about 5 feet which is a little high. We enjoyed ourselves and didn’t really have any problems. We did bounce off of one rock which was submerged just before a rapid which was a little scary but we managed to get through it without capsize. We did learn something about planning the route through the rapids far in advance as things come on you quickly when the water is high and fast.

The fishing was OK but nothing to write home about. The swift water may have hindered fishing a little. We saw a Bald Eagle fishing the river. This was a real treat. Overall, I’d say that our first float went well and it’s good to have it under our belt.