James River - Milepost 63.7

Bridge over James River
Relax with a leisurely stroll by James River.

Peter Hamel photo

Travel through the James River Gorge has evolved from foot, to boat, to rail, to today's modern highway road system. About the only form of transportation that does not use the James River Gorge is flight! Stop at the visitor center to discover why Virginians built a canal system rather than simply float the unimproved James River, and why a railroad would buy an entire canal system. Or learn of some of the design secrets that make the Blue Ridge Parkway “America’s Favorite Drive.”
Picnic tables on a grassy knoll with shady trees
Stop and enjoy your brown-bag lunch at the shady picnic area by the river.

Peter Hamel photo

At a Glance:

  • Visitor Center
  • Hiking trails
  • Picnic area

Points of Interest:

Visitor Center: Talk to a ranger and get Parkway information. Open seasonally; check the opening schedule for specific dates.

Sleeping and Eating:

James River Picnic Area: Brown-bag it and grab a table. The picnic area is open seasonally. Check the opening schedule for specific dates. When you visit James River, we ask that you Leave No Trace.

James River does not offer any sleeping options. See nearby towns for accommodations. Along the Parkway, Otter Creek Campground is just 2 miles north. Check our camping page for more information.

Things to Do:

Hike a Trail: Stretch your legs on the Trail of Trees or Canal Lock Trails (0.4 miles each) or make a day of it with the 3.5-mile Otter Creek Trail that connects Otter Creek Campground to the James River visitor center. See the James River trails for more information.

Last updated: February 2, 2017

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803


828 348-3400

Contact Us