We offer four float adventures:
• Five Bridges
• Balcony Falls
• Tye River
The local float is by far our most popular float.
$35 per person
Looking for an easy and convenient way to relax? If so, then this is the float for you. The five bridges float originates in Lynchburg and meanders nine miles east to the Campbell County line.
This is a true, lazy river float. You will be amazed as the hustle and bustle of Lynchburg drifts away behind you and the wild and scenic river unfolds before you. It is not uncommon to see all varieties of wildlife, most exciting is spotting a pair of bald eagles. They are frequently reported along this part of the James River.
These majestic birds are spotted on a daily basis, and have been known to leave our guests speechless. Also, because of the gentle nature of this float no previous boating experience is required. This is an excellent run to learn the basics of kayaking.
That being said there are plenty of opportunities for experienced kayakers to hone their abilities, catching little eddies and running the different lines and chutes around the small islands. Maybe history is your thing. If so, we recommend showing up early for this float. There are several stone culverts as well as some lock ruins left from the grand ole days of the Kahnawa Canal.
There's a Civil War Gun Encampment on the Amherst side and several miles of stone wall built to contain the canal. Whatever it is you are looking for, I am sure you will find at least a little bit of it on this float. All that have experienced this float have enjoyed it thoroughly.
We recommend packing a lunch as well as a cooler, and it never hurts to bring a fishing rod (several of our guests have caught 6 lb+ small mouth on this float, it's safe to say the fishing is phenomenal). If this five bridges float is for you, be sure to arrive at our shop no later than 1:30 pm (the last trip leaves at 2:00 pm) and get ready to relax and spend some quality time with friends and family.
Book a trip online.
If breathtaking mountain views and the occasional hair-raising rapid mixed in with a little relaxing fun in the sun is your thing then this my friends will be your Nirvana.
This trip begins at our shop, where the guides who will accompany you on your float will issue your lifejacket and give you a crash course (no pun intended) in navigating your state of the art, high tech James River Float Company kayak.
THE BEST KAYAKING TRIP EVER, the full package, the real deal, the bee's knees -- you know, the best thing since sliced bread. Come on out and try it, and you be the judge. $55 per person. Minimum 6 person trip.
After that you will all load on the bus and enjoy a short, scenic ride (about 30-35 min) to the Balcony Falls put in. There you will be given another refresher course on high tech, redneck, whitewater navigation.
Once everybody is comfortable and ready to hit the river you will drift away from the put in at a leisurely pace, accompanied by your guides.
The float begins slow, and is extremely scenic. After an hour or so of warming-up, the river begins to pick up its pace as it rushes towards Balcony Falls. The scenery also begins to pick up. Right when you think it couldn't get any prettier you round the next corner.
Your guides will be there to help you gracefully drift through the many ripples and rapids along the way. Just about the time you can see Balcony Falls it will be time for a light lunch, included in the float.
After a sandwich and some chips it will be time for the big plunge. Before shoving off your guides will help you to brush up on those newly acquired whitewater kayaking skills prior to the big plunge.
Once back in the river the excitement builds quickly and before you know it you are looking up river at Balcony (hopefully, sitting on your tube, but no worries if you have taken a swim. With the prior information provided by the guides and the assistance of a guide at the bottom of the falls it will make for a refreshing swim and a great story later on).
But, Balcony Falls is not the only exciting rapid. You still have little Balcony which some say is better than big Balcony. From there the river takes a much more leisurely pace for the next mile or so.
At the takeout our driver will be waiting to load your group and head back to our outpost. This trip, I can assure you, will leave you with many stories and memories for years to come.
Tye River Scenic Float
The Tye River kayak float is truly a special experience. This float puts you in the heart of Nelson County on one of the state's most tranquil and beautiful rivers.
You and your group will find yourselves drifting through lush Virginia Hill Country while at the same time enjoying spectacular chutes, ripples, and rapids that will surely get your hair wet and make for a great memory.
Because of the popularity of this run and the limited opportunities to run it James River Float Company is happy to offer an email notification list. If the weather and conditions are good on the Tye we will be able to shoot you an email to let you know. Hope to see you on the Tye! $55 per person. Minimum 6 person trip.
The Tye River kayak trip is typically available from early May to late June. Because it is heavily relied upon rainfalls, we suggest if we are running this trip that you and your group take full advantage of it because, unlike the James River, the Tye does not run 365 days a year.
If the timing's right and you have the Tye River kayaking experience we can assure you it will be the float that you judge all others by.
James River Float Company is excited to be offering even more overnight trips this year. We are the only outfitter in the state of Virginia that offers fully guided trips.
By this we mean your tent, sleeping pad, and even your sleeping bag are furnished by us. All the meals as well as non alcoholic beverages and necessary accessories are included in these unique trips.
This trip is available 7 days a week. However, because of the intricacies of it, we ask that you give us a minimum of 2 weeks notice. This trip also has a minimum of 8 people and costs $124 per person. Group rates are available for large groups over 20 people. This trip is not available on holidays.
Let the river entertain you and our guides spoil you. Our guides are well trained, experienced outdoorsmen. Safety and comfort is of the utmost importance.
You will surely be able to get used to this kind of livin'. Float all day, relax by a roaring fire that night, and eat a hearty meal prepared right in front of you. Another unique thing about these trips is that all the camping equipment and personal gear is transported to camp via a gear raft.
No gear-laden boats to worry about capsizing. Instead you will be able to lean back, kick your feet up, and enjoy a stress free float down the mighty James River. Which brings up a good point: which overnight is right for you?
If kayaking is your thing then you will love our private island getaway. This trip starts at our guide post, just across the river from Lynchburg, Virginia.
All guests will be issued their river equipment (life jacket, paddle, dry bag, etc.) There will also be a river safety talk given. Our guides will then load you in our company vehicle and off to the river you go! Upon arrival the guides will get you set up in your boats, go over basic kayaking skills (no experience required), and answer any questions you might have. When every one is comfortable and ready to go the trip begins.
The first day will consist of a 4-5 hour float on one of the most scenic sections of the James River. In the late afternoon you will arrive at our private island where our guides will help you pick the perfect spot to pitch a tent.
The island is over one mile long, covered predominantly by large walnut trees and offers many great wildlife watching opportunities.
Or if you just want to relax in the water there are the perfect ripples just in front of the camp. Wade out, sit with you back upstream, and let the James River massage your worries away. Meanwhile, your guides will be collecting firewood and preparing the evening meal. After a hearty dinner, enjoy watching the sunset.
During the summer months, the sun sets off the west point of the island, facing upstream. It almost looks as if it drops into the river. I would describe it nothing short of spectacular. After the sunset most guests enjoy sitting by the campfire, cooking smores, and recalling the day's activities without a worry in the world.
If you are an early riser, you are in for a real treat. The sun rises directly off the east end of the island, down river. It's a beautiful sight as it burns off the early morning fog. Before you can walk back up to camp, our guides will already be preparing a traditional southern breakfast.
After breakfast there is a relaxed pace in breaking camp. No need to rush out here, that's for the birds. Once camp is broke you will load back in the kayaks and lazily meander down the river until it is time for a cold lunch.
After lunch, we will continue down river, stopping to look at remains of the old Kanawha Canal and old batteau navigation sluices in the river bed. These, even by today's standards, are almost incomprehensible achievements. Especially when you consider they had no mechanized machinery.
Mid to late afternoon we will drift into Howardsville, VA where you will be greeted by our driver who will transport you back to Lynchburg, where your vehicle will await you. Although this is an important feature of the trip, we find most customers have never been so unhappy to see their cars.
If you find this to be the case, don't panic, we run these trips 7 days a week spring through fall.