This is the lowest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway (649 feet), plus is where the road intersects with US-501, which runs west along the James River for 15 miles to Natural Bridge. The visitor center has exhibits, plus there are numerous trails that run along the James River, Kanawha Canal, and Otter Creek. The Kanawha Canal Lock was built between 1845-51; when completed the canal had 90 locks and went from Richmond to Buchanan, Virginia.

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Review of James River Visitor Center

Active and Adventure Review of James River Visitor Center

Away Travel Editor: Alistair Wearmouth
editor favorite Editor Favorite
Editor Rating 4.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Camping,Day Hiking
Editor Tips & Helpful Hints
  • You can camp at Otter Creek, which has a scenic 3.5-mile trail tracing the Parkway and running down to the James River Visitor's Center. (Remember this is one way, so plan on adding on another 3.5 miles to get back to your car, if you don't have a shuttle vehicle.)
  • Hike from either the visitor's center or Otter Creek Campground to Otter Lake, which is circled by a pleasant one-mile loop. It's a shorter hike from the former, though regardless of your directional orientation, this is one of the most scenic areas along the northern third of the Parkway.

Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 60-63)

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: (828) 298 0398
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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