River Adventure

Come explore all that Fluvanna County has to offer! From its many rivers and lakes to miles of trails and sandy beaches to amazing spots to enjoy Virginia wine, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had as you fall in love with the natural beauty of Fluvanna. 

Home to three distinct waterways – the James, the Hardware, and the Rivanna – Fluvanna is a river enthusiast’s dream. Whether you are an experienced fisherman or getting out on the water for the first time, there are countless options to make your day memorable. Just remember your permit!

The James River

With its signature horseshoe bend curve, the historic James River is located along Fluvanna’s southern border. Two separate entry points in and near the town of Scottsville feature concrete boat ramps allowing easy access for boaters, kayakers, canoers or even a leisurely floater. As you travel down the waterway, be on the lookout for bald eagles and great blue herons overhead and beaver lodges along the shore. 

Throughout the river, islands abound with sandy spots to anchor your boats to fish from shore or relax before you continue your journey. For those heading out on a fishing expedition, you can expect to catch smallmouth and rock bass, sunfish, fallfish, channel and flathead catfish and musky throughout the entire year. 

The James River’s biggest annual event is the Batteau Festival in September. The eight-day event draws participants from all over to float through the river in kayaks or their own historically accurate, homemade batteaux. Rain or shine, the event will still go on and features nights full of music, celebration, and tales of Virginia history for all ages to enjoy. Many of the batteau owners will even let you venture onto their craft for a peak at a day in their life along the journey.

The Hardware River

One of the largest tributaries to the James, the Hardware River offers its own wide array of wildlife for a nature lover’s dream. Whether by boat or from the riverbank, fishing enthusiasts can catch smallmouth and largemouth bass, channel catfish, and a variety of sunfish. Throughout the Hardware River Wildlife Management Area, visitors can also take in the abundance of wildflowers and other wildlife in the area. Nearby, the Scheier Natural Area also offers several man-made ponds along the three miles of trails to continue your experience throughout the area’s natural habitats, spotting a plethora of birds among the trees, turtles at foot and possibly even some deer if you are lucky.

A day of adventure is never complete without a stop at nearby Hardware Hills Vineyard for a glass of Virginia wine or their signature sangria. The family-owned and operated winery offers guests a spacious outdoor seating area with views of their vines. You can also catch live music on weekends specialty food trucks and other fun vendor events throughout the year.

The Rivanna River

Centrally located in the county, the Rivanna River is Virginia’s first governmentally-designated Scenic River. With two access points, one at Crofton Bridge and the other in the town of Palmyra, the Rivanna is stunning to behold and ideal for a laid-back kayaking experience. Guided tours are available with the Rivanna River Company on Saturdays during the warmer months, and are perfect for beginners and those looking to take their time in observing the natural beauty of the area. For those without their own vessels, kayaks are also available to rent from Fluvanna Parks and Recreation, whose livery is at the Pleasant Grove House.

Hikers traveling along the trails at Pleasant Grove Park can also enjoy snippets of river views,  while those who prefer to stay by the water can enjoy plenty of sandy beaches along the Rivanna. Once your day of water fun concludes, pencil in a visit to Cunningham Creek Winery for delicious wine, live music, and a happy greeting from the three, free roaming Australian Shepherds that live on the property. With amazing sunset views, a recently expanded outdoor patio and dog park, the whole family can enjoy the evening as you wind down from your day of adventure.

There’s so much to see and explore in the rolling rivers of Fluvanna, which will you pick first?