City of Richmond, Virginia
Parks - James River Park
City of Richmond, Virginia
Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities
900 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 646-5733
Enjoy James River Park
7 Sections of Park Along Nearly 550 Acres of
The largest park in Richmond may
well be the most popular, most diverse and most unusual! It
includes nearly 550 acres lining both banks of the James River
from Huguenot Flatwater to Ancarrow�s Landing. It is an area of
unspoiled natural beauty and adventure recreation unlike that
found in any other city in the country!
James River Park
offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, jogging, swimming,
hiking, rock-climbing, fishing, boating, sunning, bird -watching,
and nature study, many within a few blocks of the City�s
downtown residential, business and financial district. But the
most dramatic feature of the park is the river itself!
The park is a
unique area of wilderness shoreline located within the heart of a
growing urban city. Made up of seven sections, the park offers
visitors woods, islands, meadow with unusual plants, wildlife and
excellent fishing. The park trails are excellent for biking.
Hiking the park�s major trails offers new enjoyment in each
season. Excellent canoeing is available for both flat and
are available for groups by reservation and are scheduled
frequently on weekends for interested individuals. Picnicking is
allowed throughout the park, but glass containers and alcohol are
The Main Section of the park is
located on the south side of the James River between the Boulevard
and Lee Bridges. Information maps, trail guides, interpretive
tours can be found at the Visitor Center (open by appointment
only) or you can request a map by calling 804-646-5733.
Pony Pasture Rapids
is located on the south bank two miles downstream from the
Huguenot Bridge on Riverside Drive. Fishing is excellent at this
point and this area is considered to be one of Richmond�s best
locations for birdwatching and inner tubing. An easy whitewater
canoe run begins here and ends at the visitor center.
Huguenot Flatwater also
on the south side of the river, can be found directly under the
Huguenot Bridge near Richmond�s western edge. This is a good
place to launch canoes for flat water boating.
North Bank Park (Texas Beach) is
on the river�s north side at the end of Texas Avenue. A
pedestrian bridge takes visitors across railroad tracks and the
canal down to the river�s edge. Fishing is also very good at
this point, but the trails are not maintained.
Belle Isle is
found directly under the Lee Bridge and may be reached on foot
from the northside of the river via the pedestrian bridge
suspended under the Lee Bridge. The island is the site of a
notorious Civil War prison and the remains of a historic iron
foundry are sill visible. Excellent whitewater rapids may be found
at Belle Isle with kayaking and canoeing being popular sports here
for highly skilled paddlers. Good fishing is also available.
Wetlands � wildlife
area. Low meadow surrounded by remnant swamp forest located at the
end of Landria Drive. A small pond with 3 birdblinds and a tiny
sand beach. There is parking available for 10 cars.
Pumphouse � 3-Mile Lock Park
Take the Boulevard through Byrd
Park, follow Blanton Avenue to Pumphouse Road and then turn right.
The remaining structures indicate how the James River front was
used in the 19th century. The impressive Victorian Gothic
Pumphouse still stands where it was built in 1883. It was
abandoned in 1924. Still plainly visible, down a path from the
Pumphouse, are stone locks used on the James River and Kanawha
Canal. One structure, a stone arch, is part of the original canal
built in 1789. George Washington, considered the father of this
and other canal systems, passed through here when he traveled this
section in 1791. Open during daylight hours.
Richmond Boat Ramp (Ancarrow�s Landing)
To reach Ancarrow's landing, take
I-95 to the Maury Street exit. Head east on Maury and follow road
around municipal sewage plant. Follow signs to parking area on
left. Parking is available for 200 cars. Ancarrow�s Landing is a
boat landing and fishing spot that is one of the area�s most
valuable historic sites. It is the place where William Byrd is
believed to have established Richmond when he set up his trading
post. Later, slave ships docked there in the 1700s and 1800s. It
became known as Ancarrow�s Landing because it also was the home
of Newton Ancarrow�s speedboat-manufacturing company.
Take a Walk along the Slave Trail.
The trail starts at Ancarrow�s Landing. Walk the trail many
imported slaves took upon their arrival and entry into Virginia at
Manchester Docks to Richmond. The same route also took some slaves
sold from Lumpkin�s Jail and other establishments in downtown
Richmond during the antebellum years to the docks to be exported.
The walk is 1.3 miles in length. Please wear comfortable walking
shoes. Group tours can be arranged by calling 804-646-8911.
Lastly, the Great Ship Lock Park on
Dock and Pear Streets. The great lock, built between 1850-1854,
connected the James River with the Richmond Dock, completing the
James River and Kanawha Canal system that bypassed seven miles of
falls and continued 197 miles through Virginia�s western
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