Tag Archives: Kayak

Access Week: Open Richmond’s canals to paddlers

Build a dock behind the "Cross" monument and the Haxall Canal is in businessPhil Riggan – James River News Hub

Access Week! One of the first complaints most people have when discussing the James River in Richmond is that there aren’t enough access points. This is Day 4 as James River News Hub tackles the topic of access points.

The canals in Richmond should be opened up for paddlers to connect parks and existing  access points. Paddlers could form circuits where one could park at a given parking lot, either paddle down river or up the canal, make a run and paddle back to their vehicle.

The term “greenway” in urban planning is the concept of connecting the city and its citizens through urban corridors of green. Connecting via waterway is considered a “blueway” and the would be the perfect way to creat two-way traffic.

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Resolved to get outside and paddle more often?

Coastal CanoeistsIt’s resolution time. Getting out and exercising. Losing that weight gained during the Holidays. It might be time for you to meet up with some new people and “Go Coastal” in 2011. I saw this notice in The Outsider on Richmond Times-Dispatch’s website:

Coastal Canoeists: Paddles, 11:30 a.m. each Sunday (weather permitting), James River, Richmond. For put-in locations: www.coastals.org/forum

RIVER RANT: Why can’t we paddle in the canals in Richmond?

Paddlers in the Manchester Canal during the 2010 Earth Day FestivalThey can’t we paddle in the Kanawha Canal? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to paddle from certain points down river back up to make another run? This idea has been addressed on the Richmond on the James blog. The problem: CSX railroad has a 100-foot easement off the center of their tracks, which extends, in most places, all the way across the canal. This is not the case in Petersburg on the Appomattox River, and it is possible to park, paddle up the canal and make a run down the river, ending up at the same take out and parking lot in which your paddle trip began.

Would you be interested in paddling in the canal? Would you paddle from Tredegar to the Pump House, a nearly 2-mile paddle up-stream? How useful would an amenity like that be for Richmond as an outdoor sports destination?

RIVER RAVE: What section of the James is your favorite for whitewater?

Photo by Rich Young. - What section of the James is your favorite for whitewater?For paddlers, the James River offers some of the best urban white water in the nation, from easy Class I rapids to Class IV. Named rapids within the Falls of the James include (class II unless marked): Pony Pasture, Powhite Ledges, Choo Choo, Cooper’s Rifle, Mitchell’s Gut, First Break, Approach, Hollywood (IV), VEPCO Levee (III), Second Break (IV), Southside (III) and Pipeline (IV).

Which section along the Falls of the James is your favorite for whitewater? What is your favorite boat (kayak, canoe, whitewater raft, other)?

[Photo courtesy Rich Young on Flickr.com]

RIVER RAVE: Richmond Folk Festival from the James River

Photo by Rich Young: Richmond skyline from area down river from Reedy Creek takeoutDuring the 2009 Richmond Folk Festival, I took a kayak trip down the James River from Pony Pasture to Reedy Creek. The best part of the trip was as we reached the area near the takeout and the Richmond skyline came into view, we could clearly hear the sound from the festival downriver. It was a great feeling as we stopped our kayaks against some rocks and just listened to the music.

The Richmond Folk Festival is happening again this weekend and the settings among Tredegar Iron Works and Brown’s Island highlights the James River. Paddlers could stop in the flat area between Belle Isle and Brown’s Island to listen and one of these years paddlers might be able to run down the James to the festival and takeout at Tredegar Beach, paddle in the Haxall Canal around Brown’s Island and then take a canal boat or paddle back up the Kanawha Canal from Oregon Hill to The Pumphouse…

Would you paddle to the Richmond Folk Festival? Would you paddle in the canal at Brown’s Island during concerts and events? It’s possible, just keep telling the City of Richmond that’s what you want!

-by Phil Riggan [Photo courtesy Rich Young on Flickr.com]

Kayaking the James: Bosher’s Dam

For many, the James River isn’t about the rapids and rocks. Solitude and serenity draws many to the calmer waters above the Falls of the James and Huguenot Flatwater is the place to launch for a quiet paddle.

If you need a destination, Bosher’s Dam is about a mile up river from Huguenot Flatwater and is a scenic, peaceful and pleasant spot to enjoy the James.

See more including a full slideshow at Richmond.com

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