Tag Archives: Atlantic Coast Line Bridge

SOLD: Beautiful home overlooking James west of Boulevard Bridge

View from atop stone pier near Choo Choo RapidsOff the market, a single-family dwelling in a thriving neighborhood just west of the Boulevard Bridge and overlooking the James River, with beautiful landscaping, close to food sources and flood insurance not needed. Continue reading


Jamie Betts photography of the James is must-see

Lightning at Brandermill CREDIT JAMIE BETTSJamie Betts is a Richmond-based professional photographer and he takes wonderful shots of nature and landscapes.  I’ve been following his work for a couple of years and caught notice of his work shooting lightning strikes during storms. Continue reading

Crescent shape & bamboo structure need explanation

Area between the Powhite Parkway Bridge and the Boulevard Bridge on the south bank is known as Main Area WestThe area between the Atlantic Coast Line Bridge and the Boulevard Bridge on the south bank is known as Main Area West and it is part of the James River Park System. I have unofficially adopted this parcel of the park and clean trash there often in part due to some responsibility I felt for “giving away the secret” that this excellent spot existed. Continue reading

Main Area West is a James River hidden gem

View of James River Railway Bridge from Main Section WestDid you know that much of the shoreline covering the area between the Powhite Parkway Bridge and the Boulevard Bridge in South Richmond is part of the James River Park System?

Trailhead from Riverside Drive to Main Section WestIt is known within the Department of Parks, Recreation and Facilities as Main Area West and the main trailhead is in the 5300 block of Riverside Drive. A 10 minute hike down hill and across the train tracks will lead river-goers to some of the best granite boulders, vantage points and adventures you can find on the James.

Exposed pipe in the James River at Main Section WestWhen water levels are low, this area has some of the best adventure hiking in the area. You can walk on top of the concrete pipelines that run through the area to reach remote rocks and islands. You can get underneath the giant arches of the James River Railway Bridge (also known as the Atlantic Coast Line Railway Bridge or Belt Line Bridge) and watch kayakers run the Choo Choo Rapids.

There are also plenty of shady areas to find a good fishing hole, pitch a tent or stash a cooler.

Main Area West google mapFinding parking on Riverside Drive is almost impossible and nearby New Kent Avenue has limited parking. I suggest riding your bike to the park and locking it to the fencing at the trailhead. Use caution when crossing the railroad tracks and remember to truck out whatever trash is left from whatever you truck in and pick up stray trash, please!

RIVER RAVE: Have you ever camped in the James?

Camping out in the James across from Brown's Island in downtown RichmondThere are plenty of little islands and large boulders to be found in the Falls of the James as the river progresses through Richmond. In the warmer weather, it is common to find campsites dotting the river, like with the tent nestled into the trees on an island next to Brown’s Island in downtown Richmond.

For example, one could find plenty of campsites dotting the river between the James River Railway Bridge and Boulevard Bridge the night of the Fourth of July in sight of the Carillon and the fireworks at Dogwood Dell.  The interior woods of Williams Island is another consistent spot.

Have you ever camped on the James River? Is there a problem with people who do? Where are the best places? What kind of thrill does it add being on the James in Richmond instead of off in the wilderness?

Taking the path less traveled on the James River

James River Railway BridgeInstead of shooting down Choo Choo Rapids, I took the channel through what used to be Grant’s Dam past the entrance to the Lower Canal. Someday the overgrown area where it passes under the CSX railway line on the north bank will be cleared all the way to the Pumphouse, giving  paddlers access to the Kanawha Canal through George Washington’s Lower Arch and creating a new river access at the Pumphouse.

See more at Phil Riggan’s RichmondOnTheJames blog