Historic Falls of the James Scenic River

One river in Virginia offers something no others can in the country.

Photo courtesy Beyond Boundaries

James River rafting

Beyond Boundaries & Virginia school for the deaf and blind

A Beyond Boundaries rafting guide through the Hollywood Rapids on the James River through Richmond.

Photo credit Kyle LaFerriere

The General Assembly awarded a special Scenic River designation to the Richmond segment of the James in 1972, and a total of 8.5 miles were incorporated into the Scenic Rivers Program in 1984. Falling 105 feet over 7 miles through the capital city, the James provides the only Class III-IV urban whitewater in the United States. The James River Park urban wilderness lines the banks of the river, offering biking, hiking, fishing, and, of course, whitewater and flat-water boating. 

Here, rafters with Beyond Boundaries paddle the Hollywood Rapids section of the river. Beyond Boundaries is a Richmond-based nonprofit organization that guides participants with disabilities, veterans, at-risk youth, and recovery programs on outdoor adventures. The group began with a whitewater rafting program in 2015 and has expanded to include hiking, fishing, and rock climbing; they plan to start a river boating program this year. BeyondBoundariesRVA.org

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