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: $8 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

    New This Year: We will provide a guided trip down the river for beginners or others who do not wish to race.
    Main Events
    Special Events
    Saturday, May 5, 2001
    Sunday, May 6
    A beautiful run through Class I to Class II+ rapids on the Tye River's cool clear mountain water.

    Registration: 9:30 - 11:00 AM
    Start: Rt. 662 along side the Tye River, 11:30 PM
    Finish: Confluence of Tye River and Rucker's Run
    Distance: 7 miles

    NOTE: Safety boaters, those who wish to race early or those who wish to race twice will race at 8:00 AM. The 8AM run is intended for experienced racers as there will be no safety boat support on this run.
    Sunday's races 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 races 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.

    Camping for the Night

    James River State Park has a variety of comping arrangements including primitive camping alongside the river.

    Free camping is also available near the takeout. For details please call Phil Welker at 804-277-8023 or email Conny Roussos at

    Test your mettle by running the Sprint race Upstream

    Saturday Sunday
    Proceed to put-in on Rt. 662 alongside Tye River, two miles from intersection with Rt. 739 and Tye River bridge (see map and directions below).

    Register for race and leave boat(s).

    Proceed to take-out. 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. 739 in Nelson County just North of the Tye River Bridge.

  • Turn East onto Rt. 739 and follow 739 for about 1 mile into the town of Tye River Depot.
  • Just before the Bridge over the Tye River turn left onto Rt. 662.

  • Rt. 662 follows the Tye River. Follow 662 for about 2 miles to a point where the road leaves the river.

  • This is the put-in for the downriver race.
  • 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.

    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 are encouraged to run the race course sometime before the actual race as there are a few 2+ & 3- rapids. You may also wish to consult Roger Corbett or Ed Grove's book for information on the lower Tye.
    5. 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. Race time is at 11:00 AM. However, those who wish to race early or those who wish to race twice may race at 8:00 AM.
    3. After the race on Saturday there will be a get-together/cook-out for paddlers and their families at the takeout. Hamburgers, hotdogs and drinks will be supplied. You are encouraged to bring other food to consume or share as desired.
    4. Connect to for more information about accomodations and sites to see in Nelson County.


    Nelson County Area

    Downriver Race - Getting there is half the fun!

    James River State Park

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