These outfitters promote appreciation of the James River’s natural beauty and the life it sustains by getting people out on its rolling waters
When you have a city set along bodies of water such as the James River, you’ll find a community that builds their culture and activities around enjoying the beautiful waterfront, and Lynchburg is no exception! Surrounding the historic river, you’ll find an active and thriving Downtown with boutique hotels, chef-inspired restaurants, museums & galleries, and outfitters ready to help you get out there to explore the many amenities provided by the historic James River and its tributaries. Let us introduce you!
James River Adventures Gets You Merrily Rolling Along
James River Adventures’ Rob Campbell believes the best way to get people to care about the James River is to get them in a boat and out on the water to see the myriad of plants and wildlife who call the watershed home. JRA will rent one of their canoes or kayaks to experience the James for yourself, or bring a whole crew for a guided tour. You can also take a ride in their replica 19th-century bateau for a taste of history.
Bikes Unlimited Gets You Peddling the Trails
If you prefer your adventures on land, you can still get striking views of the James River and the city skyline on the Percival’s Island trail. This 3-mile trail crosses over a pedestrian bridge made from a former train bridge onto the island, and connects to the Blackwater Creek Trail for a longer ride. It even contains a second pedestrian bridge near the end of the trail that offers breathtaking views of the James River. Rent or purchase a bicycle from Bikes Unlimited on Jefferson Street right near the trailhead. Their helpful staff will get you set with helmets and the right size bike for you. They also supply maps to get you going in the right direction.
LYH is the Catch of the Day with help from TaleTellers Fly Shop
Located on Commerce Street, just a few blocks away from the riverfront, TaleTellers is your one-stop-shop for fishing supplies, fly tying workshops and guided fishing trips. Owner Ethan Martin has been fly fishing since he was a young boy and ready to teach you how to catch a Muskie right here in Downtown Lynchburg. Or, take a fly tying class and learn to make your own poppers and streamers. So, whether you’re an avid fisher or are looking to pick up a new hobby, there are plenty of perfect fishing spots along the river in Downtown. Here are the freshwater species you’ll find:
- Smallmouth and Largemouth bass
- Sunfish variety (bluegill, redbreast and rock bass)
Reminder: you’ll need to have your freshwater fishing license!
Fuel & Rest Up After Your Activities
Pack a Picnic for the Park
Sometimes all you need to have a good time are the river views and a nice packed lunch. That’s exactly what Riverfront Park can offer (but you’ll have to pack your own lunch!). At the park, you’ll find friends and families playing sports like soccer or catch, and during the summer months, you’ll see little ones of all ages enjoying the zero-depth fountain located next to The Water Dog—a great after-lunch activity!
Enjoy Overlooking the James River While Dining
We can’t think of a better way to enjoy a well-prepared meal and a libation than dining with views of the river. On Jefferson Street and on the BluffWalk, located right below Commerce Street, you’ll find these tasty eateries.
Come Explore the James River in LYH
Explore the James River and the city for a weekend! Lynchburg has many lodging options from which to choose, including brand hotels with pools, boutique hotels oozing character, and AirBnB’s. See our full list of local lodging options.