The Upper James River Water Trail keeps getting better.
This project launched in the spring of 2010 with a lot of local support and
excitement. The Botetourt County Office of Tourism had the idea to market the
county’s greatest natural treasure for outdoor recreation. Presenting the
“Mighty James” as a destination not only increased public use the river, it
also increased awareness and the need for good stewardship. Education of the
public is a key component of the initiative.
We were chosen to develop the brand identity for the
trail plus a brochure, website and advertising campaign. It has turned out to
be one of the most award-winning projects we have been involved with. The
creative work has won local, regional and national awards for design and
effectiveness. The initiative itself has been recognized by the Virginia
Association of Counties and the Virginia Recreation & Park Society, for
which all credit must go to the team at Botetourt County and the leadership of
Kevin Costello as Tourism Director. The innovativeness of the initiative
combined with the excellent marketing earned it a prestigious Shining Example Award from
the Southeast Tourism Society.
So, how could it possibly be getting better? This season,
a new public access point is being added along Route 220 in the town of Gala.
Previously, there was approximately 13 miles of river between access points,
which is fine for experienced paddlers and energetic youth. The new Gala access
area offers paddlers a choice for a slightly shorter trip. Families with children
or fishermen who like to take their time on the river will appreciate the
option. The trail is now divided into seven sections, with a section or two
that is appropriate for everyone who wishes to canoe, kayak or tube on the
As if all that wasn’t enough, one of the outfitters that
offers rentals and shuttles continues to grow and offer new services each
season. Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan is a top-notch professional operation
that can help get your family or group on the river and make sure you have a
Make sure you get on the Upper James River Water Trail at
least once this season. The river is calling.