The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

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South Geology Tour

Stop 3: The Valley of the James

DIRECTIONS: Continue up the stairs to the 21 St. foot-bridge that crosses the railroad tracks. Walk to the overlook at the end of the bridge. (37.525001° N, 077.456414° W)

Before you is the valley of the James. Two million years ago you would have been standing at the river’s edge. It has taken that long for the water to cut the 30 m (100 ft) deep river bed before you. That process continues today.

cemetary marks the present-day top of the ancient river bank

Look across the river to find Hollywood Cemetery. It marks the present-day top of the ancient river bank.

A James River-like system has been flowing into the Atlantic Ocean since the Mesozoic Era (roughly 200 MYA). A river that resembles the James River has been flowing through Richmond since the Pliocene Epoch (about 2 MYA), although its course may have varied considerably.    

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