The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

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North Geology Tour

Stop 4: Straighten Up!

DIRECTIONS: Continue on the gravel trail until you reach the paved overlook on your right. (37.53136° N, 077.45103° W)

You are now in the bottom of the river valley. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty and sounds of the James River.

rock features

Most naturally occurring rock features do not form straight lines. Note the line of whitewater in the river. This is a manmade pipeline that once supplied water to a steel plant on Belle Isle. It now brings water to a single fire hydrant in the field behind you. You may be able to see some of the exposed pipe near the riverbank.

whitewater flow

Notice how whitewater created by the natural granite formations does not form a straight line.

geologic map

This geologic map of the Belle Isle area shows the distribution of surface rocks. The brown and tan areas are soft, sedimentary rock that covers the majority of the Richmond area. Petersburg granite (shown in pink) is exposed in areas that have been worn down by the river.

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