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James River Heritage Trail

Click here for a PDF of the James River Heritage Trail draft concept plan summary.The James River Heritage Trail is a braided trail network that follows the James River from the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. Trail segments follow the old Kanawha Canal towpath, park trails, scenic riverside roadways and urban riverfront trails deep into the commonwealth. Learn more about the proposed trail system.

If you go exploring on the James River, be sure to respect private property. Your actions help determine the trail's future so leave things cleaner than you found them, and be courteous to all you meet. Follow the "Leave no Trace" principles. Support the businesses along the river that provide recreation, food, restrooms and lodging so that communities can see the value of ecotourism.

E-News - More than 350 people receive the James River Heritage Trail E-News. It keeps readers up-to-date on conceptual planning efforts and other developments in the watershed. If you’d like to receive it or submit stories and photos for consideration, email Jennifer Wampler.

The Water Trail - Blueway maps have been produced for the lower, middle and part of the upper James. Below are links to maps and other information.

Upper James

Middle James

Lower James

The On-Road Bicycle Route

DCR trail experts are working with localities and other trail interests to develop a conceptual plan. It includes an on-road bicycle route along the north and south banks of the river. Those interested in reviewing this route in their area should email Jennifer Wampler.

Land Trails

The following websites have more information on non-motorized trails along the James.

Do you know of other river trails we should feature? Send the web address or a PDF of the trail map to Jennifer Wampler.

Agritourism Offerings in the Watershed

National Heritage Areas within the watershed

World Heritage Sites within the watershed

American Scenic Byways along the Trail

State Parks Along the Trail

Wildlife Management Areas along the Trail

National Parks within the watershed