Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or even if you're from the Charlottesville – Albemarle County area, have you ever thought of a day trip on the water? Whether its kayaking, tubing, canoeing or even swimming, there are so many options that you can incorporate into your aquatic adventure! I had the chance to experience firsthand a fabulous kayaking trip down the James with James River Reeling and Rafting!

ScottsvilleScottsville, Virginia
(Photo Credit: Gina Weigold)

Arriving at James River Reeling and Rafting was quite simple! Located only a 30-minute drive from downtown Charlottesville, my dad and I began the beautiful trek down Route 20 to the adorable town of Scottsville. Upon my arrival and check in, the staff had everything loaded on the truck and ready to go for us! They gave us the option to check in our car keys and we were told they would be waiting for us down by our vehicles once our trip was over, just in case!

After some final sunscreen application, the team made sure we were properly prepared for our 7-mile journey down the river, and got us loaded and transported us to our launch site.

KayakingKayking on the James River
(Photo Credit: Gina Weigold)

Once arriving at the location around 10:00 a.m., two members of the staff that drove us out to the river promptly got all of our equipment ready to go. We were given some information about how high the water was, what to do if a storm magically appeared during our time on the water, and approximately how long our trip would take if we decided to just float our way down. With some final instruction and some help into our kayaks, my dad and I were sent on our way to explore the river all day! (Well, until 5:00 p.m…can’t argue with that!)

If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, like myself, you also have the opportunity to fish! Just bring along your fishing rod and your tackle box (don’t forget that fishing license!) and fish the day away. You may even catch yourself a small or large mouth bass like I (somehow) did! If you aren’t much of a fisherman, then just paddle or float your way along, and enjoy all the other wonderful wildlife the river has to offer.

Kayaking & FishingFishing From a Kayak!
(Photo Credit: Gina Weigold)

About halfway down our 7-mile trip, my dad and I encountered the Class One rapids we were notified of before our adventure began. Now, if you think this sounds scary, think again! Prior to our departure our lovely guides gave us tips on navigating our way through the rapids, and we made it through with no problems! (Although, I did get a fair amount of water in my kayak…I may have strayed off and taken the more adventurous route. Haha!) Whether you’re tubing, kayaking or canoeing, these rapids are no problem.

The rest of our time on the river was spent with an occasional stop to get out of our kayaks and do some fishing, or just floating on the water enjoying our time. Around 2:30 p.m. my dad and I made our way to the end of our journey. Another staff member was waiting at the take-out point ready to greet us and help us out of our kayaks. Once we got our gear out of the kayaks and it was loaded back in the truck, we were given our keys and told there were places for us to change and shower if we would like before we went on our way.

Overall, I had the BEST time kayaking down the James! The staff at James River Reeling and Rafting was nothing but wonderful and accommodating, and you could tell just how much they wanted you to enjoy your time on the James! The facilities were great and all the gear we were provided with was top notch. If you have a large group, or just want to hang out with a friend or two, I highly recommend you give James River Reeling and Rafting a call.