Historic Lower James River

Historic Lower James

Photo by Kyle LaFerriere

Historic Lower James River

Virginia Living Magazine WaterLife May 2020

A view across the historic James River.

The 25-mile segment of the Lower James that flows between Jamestown Island National Park and Chippokes Plantation State Park was designated in 1988. Captain John Smith traveled up the James River in May 1607 and made camp on Jamestown Island, which became the first permanent English settlement in America and the first capital of Virginia. The U.S. Congress recognized the James as America’s Founding River in 2007.  

Learn more about Virginia’s Scenic Rivers Program that boasts more than 1,000 miles of waterways through the Commonwealth. 

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