The central Virginia area is home to several rivers including the James River, the Maury River, the Staunton River, the Roanoke River, the Dan River and the Appomattox River.
Lynchburg is situated on the banks of the James River. Within an hour’s drive, you can be at any of the other rivers. Some of the rivers are bigger than others but all offer opportunities for tubing and other water sports.
The James River Batteau Festival began last weekend with the launch of 19 flat-bottom replica river boats from Lynchburg. At the launch, many in canoes, kayaks, and tubes accompanied the batteaux.
The festival will conclude on Saturday, June 23 when the batteaux land at Maidens Landing near Richmond.
River outfitting companies are located throughout the area with canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and tube rentals. Many of these companies offer guided river trips which usually include drop-off and pickup service.
However, only James River Float Company is located on the bank of the James in downtown Lynchburg. James River Float Company offers canoe, kayak and tube rentals. James River Float also offers paddleboards and provides guided tours on a batteau.
Bent Creek Adventures on the James in Gladstone offers canoe and float rentals in Gladstone, approximately 45 minutes north of Lynchburg.
Scottsville is located about 60 miles northeast of Lynchburg, just south of Charlottesville. River tubing is a popular sport in Scottsville.
Scottsville is home to two outfitter companies: James River Runners and James River Reeling nd Rafting. Both offer drop-off and pickup services. Read about outdoor adventures in Scottsville at the link below.
Although many water lovers take advantage of group and private river tours, others prefer to tube at their own pace during hours that work for them without using an outfitter company.
Using two vehicles, tubers will park one upriver and one downriver; however, there can be some problems encountered. The biggest problem is knowing when you reach your destination.
Other problems include treacherous waters that have contributed to injuries and deaths on the river, running into rocks and shallow waters that can’t be navigated, sudden changes in the weather, and the possibility of injury.
For safety reasons, it’s best never to tube alone and to make sure that someone who’s not with you knows your planned route and anticipated return time.
Beginning tubers are best served by using a river outfitting company and the guided tour services they provide to avoid some of the pitfalls of river tubing.
Those looking for an organized tubing activity have a few choices upcoming in the next few weeks.
Long Island Fun Float Day is a tradition in south Campbell County. This year marks the 36th year the event has been held.
Fun Float Day benefits the charities helped by the Long Island Ruritan Club. The Ruritan Club assists with the event which will be held on Saturday, June 23.
Tubers will put in at Long Island and will float to Brookneal. This year, transportation back to Long Island will not be provided due to lack of available vehicles.
Those interested can camp out on Friday night. There will be a barbeque dinner for sale at the Ruritan Club Building on Friday evening for $5.
On Saturday, breakfast will be available starting at 6 a.m. and lunch will be served starting at 11 a.m. There will also be a fish supper on Saturday at 5 p.m. and live bluegrass music starting at 7 p.m.
For more information about Fun Float Day, please call (434) 324-4232 or (434) 941-2619. For information about camping, please call Mary Pascale at Campbell County Parks & Recreation at (434) 332-9570.
The James River Splash and Dash offers a pair of events, one in Richmond and one in Lynchburg. The Richmond event takes place on July 14 near Belle Isle and the Lynchburg event takes place at 4 p.m. on July 28 on Percival’s Island and in the river.
At the Lynchburg event, participants will run a 2 mile course on the island followed by a tube paddle on the James. Floats will be provided. For more information, please call (804) 788-8811, ext. 202.
If you are looking for a relaxing experience out in nature, river tubing might be the sport for you!