It’s getting to be that time of year. As the weather warms and the days grow longer, many of you will flock to the James River Park System to walk, hike, canoe, chill in the cooling waters, and more. If you’re a fan of the Park and enjoy being by the James, there’s no shortage of cool and fun things to enjoy this Summer.
First things first: If you’re visiting the Park for recreation, take a second and scan the Park Rules & Safety Tips. It’s important that we keep the Park clean, safe, and enjoyable for everyone, and observing these rules and tips goes a long way towards making that happen. Know also that each year the City of Richmond performs a number of river rescues. Be observant of your personal safety and where you are in the River. It’s a wild place, and that water can move pretty fast.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what’s going on:
If you ever feel like lending a hand, there are always a ton of volunteer opportunities on our Park Calendar. Several times a week our Invasive Plant Task Force is out in the Park removing harmful plants to create a proper habitat for native plants. The Task Force can teach you how to discern the good from bad, what tools to use (which they’ll provide!) and show you what a proper habitat looks like.
If you’re looking for good music and outdoor adventure sports, you might want to head over to Dominion Riverrock. From May 20th through the 22nd, the James River is the venue for the nation’s premier outdoor sports and music festival. You’ll see elite kayakers taking to the rapids, professional cyclers showing off their tricks, climbers, paddlers and more. It’s always packed with interactive stations where you can try out your skills, and combined with the music and food, it’s always a great time.
If music is your thing, check out the schedule at Brown’s Island. Brown’s Island isn’t part of the James River Park System, but it’s certainly on the James River! It’s always a treat to see a national touring act playing by the River and then having a train chime in with a whistle during the chorus. Friday Cheers will be at Brown’s Island each week.
Just up the hill from Pumphouse Park, you can also take in the summer concert series at Music at Maymont. You can hike along the trails, head up to Maymont, and catch The Wood Brothers, Carbon Leaf, Umphrey’s McGee, and more. Most years acts like Bela Fleck and Old Crow Medicine Show make an appearance at Maymont, and we know for a fact that they’re still filling out their summer schedule.
If you want to combine a festival atmosphere with a volunteer opportunity, the Richmond Toolbank has you covered. Hammers & Ales will be June 11th on Brown’s Island. They’ll have music on two stages, games and educational activities, beer from Väsen Brewing, and more. While you’re there, you can help to build park benches, picnic tables, and trash huts that will be used throughout the James River Park System!
We know that summer has a tendency to linger in Richmond, and we’ll cap it off with one of our favorite weeks: James River Week is September 10th – 17th. The James River Association gathers all of our peers for a week each year to celebrate Virginia’s most incredible natural asset – The James River! There are oyster dinners, Atlantic sturgeon boat trips, cleanups, and more. If you love the James River or want a guided kayak tour or boat trip, the James River Association has all of the details that you need.
There’s a ton more going on, and we’ll keep you updated as new events are announced. We also have some secrets up our sleeves, so stay tuned!