The Nelson Area Paddlers
The Nelson Downriver
Canoe and Kayak Race
Table of Contents
  • Events
  • Instructions
  • Directions
  • The Rules
  • Other Notes
  • Maps

  • Preregistration: Nelson Co. Visitor's Center, 263-5239 or email
    More Info. Phil Welker 277-8023
    Fee: $5 per person

    The Nelson Downriver Race is intended for anyone interested in canoe or kayak racing - from novices to national champions. Our goal is to promote recreation, conservation and sportsmanship through paddling rivers and lakes in and around Nelson County, Virginia.               The Nelson Area Paddlers

    Main Event
    Special Event
    Saturday, May 6, 2000
    Sunday, May 7
    A beautiful run through Class I to Class II+ rapids on the scenic and historic Rockfish River.

    Registration: 11:30 AM
    Start: Rt. 602 at the Rt. 722 bridge alongside the Rockfish River, 12:30 PM
    Finish: Confluence of Rockfish River and James River in Howardsville near the intersection of Routes 602 and 626.
    Distance: 7 miles

    NOTE: Safety boaters will race at 10:00 AM
    Sunday's events are contingent upon paddler interest and are on an experimental basis. We hope that enough paddlers will be able to stay over Saturday night to make Sunday's events possible.
    One and one-half miles of fast-moving water on the James River at the James River State Park from Buffalo Station to Norwood near the confluence with the Tye River.

    Registration: 10:30 AM at James River State Park.

    Saturday Sunday
    Proceed to put-in on Rt. 602 at the Rt. 722 bridge alongside the Rockfish River. (see map and directions below).

    Register for race and leave boat(s).

    Proceed to take-out at Howardsville. Leave vehicle and take shuttle back to put-in.

    Notify race official when you are ready to begin race.

    Proceed to canoe put-in at James River State Park

    Register for race.

    Upon signal from race official paddle very hard.

    Saturday Sunday
  • Take Rt. 29 South from Charlottesville or North from Lynchburg to Rt. 6 East in Nelson County.
  • Continue 8.5 miles East to Route 722.
  • Turn right (South) onto Rt. 722.
  • Proceed 5.4 miles to a bridge at the intersection of Rts. 602 and 722.
  • This is the put-in for the downriver race.
  • Alternatively, one may take Rt. 6 East 5.8 miles to Rt 800, turn South onto 800 for 1 mile and bear left onto Rt. 602. Follow 602 to intersection with Rt. 722.
    (See maps below.)
    From North
  • From points North of Nelson Co. take Rt. 29 South from Charlottesville to Rt. 56 East in Lovingston.
  • Turn East onto Rt. 56 and follow 56 for about 10 miles. Continue on Rt. 56 across the James River bridge at Wingina.
  • Three miles east of the James River turn right onto Rt. 604 and follow 604 for 3 miles to Rt. 606.
  • Turn right onto Rt. 606 and follow it for 8 miles into James River State Park.
  • In the park take the first left to the canoe landing.
  • From South
  • From points South of Nelson Co. take Rt. 29 North from Lynchburg to Rt. 60 East in Amherst.
  • Take Rt. 60 across the James River bridge.
  • Immediately after crossing the bridge make a left onto Rt. 605.
  • Follow Rt. 605 along the river until you reach the James River State Park. Take first left to canoe landing.

  • OR, By Boat from North or South
    Put in on the James or Tye Rivers and paddle to the park.

    1. All participants must wear Coast Guard approved life vests.
    2. All participants are required to give aid to any boater in danger.
    3. Paddlers are strongly encouraged to wear whitewater helmets for their protection.
    4. Paddlers may make appeals to race officials but, in all cases, the decision of race officials is final and binding.
    (I mean, come on, it IS just a race :-)

    1. Consider Camping and Picnicing at the new James River State Park (1-800-933-PARK ).
    2. After the race on Saturday there will be a get-together/cook-out for paddlers and their families. Bring your own food and beverages.
    3. Connect to for more information about accomodations, camping and sites to see in Nelson County.


    Nelson County Area

    Downriver Race - Getting there is half the fun!

    A Closer Look.

    James River State Park

    Tips on Paddling Team Management

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