Kayaking the Rivanna River

Kayaking the Rivanna River, Albemarle County, Va

Gardening chores complete, Stephen and I pulled the kayaks out of winter storage and headed down the hill to the river for a few hours of glorious, relaxing kayaking.  

Several years ago, the place we now put in off of Reas Ford Rd was a mess of trash and, during hunting season, deer carcasses. Then, one hot day, someone dumped a load of animal remains.  The smell at our home was horrific (we are located above the site).  I started making phone calls, calling the health department and then our representative on the Board of Supervisors, Ann Mallek.  In years past, calls to local officials had fallen on deaf years.  The situation had reached terrible proportions, and the fact that this part of the river feeds so closely  into the Rivanna Reservoir, well, I thought, surely someone will care.  And that someone did present themselves… Ann Mallek took immediate action.  Within three days, the entire area was cleaned and barriers were placed.  Boaters and fisher-people can still get to the river, but vehicles are not allowed.  We are now able to put our kayaks in at a reasonably clean area and enjoy this remarkable resource.

The place we “put in” isn’t an official, County-sanctioned boat ramp, and I caution residents to scope out your options before heading out with your boats.  Confirm that the place you find is not private property… it isn’t always clear.  There are great, public options throughout the County.  Following are links to a few local resources.

Heron fishing along the banks of the Rivanna River

The City of Charlottesville website Boating page 

This is the boating/river access page for Albemarle County  and, from there, here are the Parks in Albemarle County

A few other links for people wishing to enjoy our local waters…

Cville Paddlers

Rivanna River Company

James River Runners

Misty Mountain Adventures

If you know of other links that I should add, please email me.

I’ll leave you with this short video of a detour we took along our way down the river.