With the distinction of being Richmond, VA’s largest and most popular waterway, the James River is a must-visit destination for locals and tourists. Here are 10 facts that add to its legend:
- The James River is Virginia’s longest and largest river
- A third of all Virginians depend on this mighty river
- The James River is known as “America’s Founding River”
- It was named after King James I
- Transport and commerce flourished because of the James River
- It is one of the most exciting urban rivers in America
- The James River offers family-friendly recreation, too
- The James River is a hit among anglers and fishers
- It is the natural habitat of astonishing wildlife
- The natural views are complemented by a well-maintained park
Stretching 340 miles long, the James River flows across the entire state. It is also one of the longest rivers that begin and end in the same state, starting in the mountains of Botetourt County and ending at Chesapeake Bay.
The James River watershed brings life to approximately 10,000 square miles of Virginia, which serves roughly 3 million residents.
The river earned this distinctive nickname in 2007 for its historic and economic relevance. The James River’s banks were the site of the very first permanent English settlement in the Americas. As a waterway, it enabled the growth and development of Virginia, the home of eight – including four of the first five – US presidents.
The river gets its name from James I, the 17th century monarch who reigned over two distinct kingdoms simultaneously. From 1567 to 1625, James ruled as King of Scotland (as James VI), as well as King of England and Ireland.
The James River served as the primary mode of transport for settlers from the 17th until the early 20th century. The river powered local industries like flour-milling, tobacco production, shipbuilding, and even hydroelectric power generation.
Featuring Class I to Class IV rapids, the James River is an irresistible destination for city-dwelling thrill-seekers seeking white water adventures on rafts or kayaks.
For more laidback activities, the calmer sections and the banks of the James offer guests of all ages opportunities for picnicking, camping, swimming, and “tubing” – a leisurely cruise along the waterway on inflated tubes.
No matter the season, the James River always hosts a crowd of fishing enthusiasts. Blue catfish is a prized catch in these waters, with giants growing as heavy as 70 to 100 pounds. Large-mouth and striped bass are favorites, as well.
In addition to supporting a third of Virginia communities, the James River is also home to bald eagles, great blue herons, and a variety of songbirds. Beavers and their nifty dams are also a common sight in these waters.
Richmond’s James River Park covers 500 acres of riverside land and islands. Maintenance regulations are strictly enforced – from banning alcohol and glass, to ensuring pets are leashed and picked up after.
Ready to discover adventure and excitement at the James River? Find excellent homes near this majestic waterway by contacting Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville Real Estate (SRMFRE) 804.288.2100.