James River State Park

Trip Advisor

Key Information

Contact Info



104 Green Hill Dr, Gladstone, VA 24553, United States

Opening Hours

Dawn to Dusk



Introduction of James River State Park

Bent Creek is six miles upstream from James River State Park, which debuted on June 20, 1999. The park features 15 miles of hiking trails, peaceful woodlands, three fishing ponds, 1,500 acres of undulating agricultural meadows, and three miles of river frontage.

The James River has impacted life in this region in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The earliest known settlers were Monacan Indians, who navigated the river while hunting and fishing. The Cabell family lived along the river in the early 1700s, used the fertile floodplain soils for farming, and transported their harvest to Richmond by water. For the purpose of facilitating transit and shipping on the river, the bateau—a flat-bottomed vessel—was created, and the Kanawha canal was constructed. People were attracted to this region by the James River, which also met their needs and assisted them in creating a future.

The park provides opportunity to investigate the natural fauna and ecology of the Blue Ridge foothills. You may take in the beautiful vistas seen only at James River State Park whether floating, fishing, or hiking.

view at James River State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

James River State Park Activities


You can paddle up to eight kilometres along the river thanks to this wonderful canoe livery. Both a canoe launch and a trailer boat launch are available at this park, which is located in the Canoe Landing area.


Reservations for camping are strongly advised. There are three campsites in the park. Branch Pond and Canoe Landing are two of them that allow rustic camping all year long. Every campsite features rustic restrooms. The rustic campsites lack drinking water, however five of the six picnic shelters have access to potable water. The only campsite on the river is Canoe Landing.

In addition to a full service bathroom with laundry facilities, Red Oak Campground features 30 standard sites with water and power. The campsite is available every year from March 1 to the first Monday in December and is located approximately 1.5 miles from the rustic campgrounds. There is no river nearby. There are no site-specific reservations. Arrival is at 4 p.m., and departure is at 3 p.m. The park will accommodate your early arrival as soon as it is feasible. You are invited to spend the interim enjoying the park.

Walk-in campers (i.e., those without reservations) should take additional care to confirm that a site is open before using the honour system and settling in. By 4 p.m., park service workers distribute reserved spots; any that are not marked by then may be occupied by walk-ins every evening.


Biking is permitted on the park’s almost 15 kilometres of multi-use paths.


Catfish, panfish, and the sporadic giant musky can also be caught in the park, which is a popular location for smallmouth bass fishing. For those searching for a more leisurely fishing experience, the park also features three freshwater ponds. It is necessary to have a current state fishing licence, which may be acquired at the park.


Nearly 15 miles of multi-use trails in the park are available for horseback riding, biking, and hiking. Wheelchair users may use both the fishing pier and Green Hill Trail.

Horseback Riding

Aficionados of equestrian sports should bring their horses on their RV vacation so they may experience the splendour of this central Virginia treasure while riding along the park’s 15 miles of multi-use paths. However, if you want to take full use of the bridle paths, bring your own horse with you as the park does not have any horses that can be rented. If you opt to bring your horses, they will have a secure location to spend the night in the park because it has overnight horse facilities.


Some of the nicest fall foliage in the nation may be seen in Virginia. You won’t want to be without a camera if you find yourself at James River State Park for an autumnal RV escape. The Tye River Overlook is a must-see if you want to see breathtaking views of the rivers and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Branch Pond Loop is a great place for anyone looking for some unusual nature photos and autumn colour displays since it provides a true sense of nature. You might be able to take pictures of some of the local animals, such as deer, otter, beavers, muskrats, and a variety of waterfowl, if you go along the River Trail.

walking bridge at James River State Park
CC: Social Channel of park



The closest settlements of Appomattox and Amherst are 20 miles apart from James River State Park, which is a rather far-off location. Visitors should be ready for tight roads as they approach the park on SR-605 and SR-606. The remoteness pays off in the form of breathtaking vistas and unmatched adventure, but they should be aware of it in advance. The park offers a camp store and gift shop, but guests in need of more supplies can travel to the nearest grocery shops and eateries in Appomattox and Amherst, which are located in Bent Creek and are approximately seven miles to the south.
Once within the park, you may choose to leave your vehicle at your campground or at one of the other parking places. Dixon Landing, the canoe livery, and Park Road next to Taylor Pond all offer parking throughout the park. The pull-through nature of many of the RV sites at Red Oak Campground and Horseshoe Campground makes them quite simple to manoeuvre.


Parking is available.

Public Transport

Public Transport is available.

James River State Park Photos

James River State Park Map