Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park features rolling grasslands, quiet forests and beautiful views, as well as 3 miles of shoreline along the James River. Visitors can hike, bike, canoe, kayak, fish or tent camp on the banks of the historic river or at Branch Pond
Camping along the river at the Canoe Landing Campground is great in the slower seasons. The sites are pretty close together so I’m sure it would be much more cramped when it’s busy but it’s a beautiful place. And you can fish right off the bank less than 50yards from your tent.
Camping along the river is great in the slower seasons. The sites are pretty close together so I’m sure it would be much more cramped when it’s busy but it’s a beautiful place. And you can fish right off the bank less than 50yards from your tent.
I love state parks for their amenities and well-maintained sites and this one was no different! The drive is really pretty too (some of the photos are the dirt road coming into the park). I imagine the drive to the park would be very slow for RVs or someone pulling a trailer with boats etc.
We rented a cabin with fantastic sunset views. This park has great walking and equine trails, a fantastic visitor center, and a wonderful outdoor park/adventure zone for the kiddos.
The Red Oak sites were gravel and fairly level and the bathhouse was nice. There is an equestrian camping area (and stalls) for people with horses. The cabins and lodges have 2, 3, and 6 bedrooms and look beautiful. There is even a canoe-in campground. Activities that can be done include tubing on the river, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding trails, wagon ride, and lots of park events.
This is a wonderful spot for viewing the stars because of the lack of light pollution. James River State Park has been named an International Dark Sky Park.
After visiting the park many times, we finally camped there in July 2019. Most of the sites were huge and level, and we were able to choose a mostly-shaded site with water and electric near the bathhouse.
Everyone we met (rangers, people in the visitor's center, etc.) was very helpful and friendly.
We hoped to go tubing, but since the river was running high and fast, they weren't renting tubes, and we asked too late about renting a canoe or kayak. (They do drop offs and pick ups at certain times and reservations are recommended.)
Cell service is extremely limited, but there's wi-fi available at the visitors center and we used that to check in with our pet sitter.
It was SO HOT when we were there and we really wished there was a designated "beach" area on the river (or in a perfect world, a pool). Swimming is not advised due to rocks and drop-offs, but people were in the river, anyhow.
We'll definitely go again!
More pictures and information about our experience is on my blog:
What a beautiful campground this was . it was wonderful to walk around and they have a fully stocked store. The campsites are clean and well kept and the people are friendly. We will go back to James River sometime
I've been to JRSP several times now and each visit gets better. Camping on the River edge is very peaceful and convenient if you just want to drop your own tube in and float. This site isn't very wooded and therefore not much visual privacy but there is lots of space to spread out. The sites are generously sized and flat. A few negatives:
1. There is a bit of a walk from your vehicle but it's not bad.
2. The bathroom is just a potty with hand sanitizer, no running water.
I also stayed in a 2 bdr cabin on a return trip which was very nice. I was impressed with the accommodations and the A/C which was enjoyed on our hot August nights. The best part of both trips was the River. Absolutely clean, crystal clear water and never crowded. Both of my trips were during the summer and over a weekend and we seldom came across others. It was if we had the whole park to ourselves. I'm going back again this summer. My boys are excited to rent the kayaks again. This is a great experience for couples and families.
Jrsp has activities and camping to accommodate everyone. Primitive camping loop, r.v.. loop, equestrian loop, cabin loop, and riverside camping and group available. Several shelters avail for use also. Several miles of trails in the sprawling park can be used by hikers , bikers, and horseback. Canoe livery rents tubes and kayaks for use. Boat launch and pick up service avail at end of float. No motors. Fishing opportunities include James river and a few ponds. Breathtaking views are plenty in this beauty of a park. Very nice quiet area at night. You can hear and see trains that parallel the river on the other side and can see a river crossing as goes over the tye river where it enters the james from the tye river overlook. Offers an amazing view of area from an elevated platform that can be accessed by hike bike or wagon ride! In any case much to see and do at James river state park!
I have been to many VA State Parks and this one so far has taken the cake. The grounds and river access are stunning. I am planning on going back in a few weeks with a group of friends.