James River Visitor Center

At milepost 63.7 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, stop at the James River Visitor Center to stretch your legs on the Trail of Trees or Canal Lock Trails. Or you can make a day of it with the 3.5-mile Otter Creek Trail that connects Otter Creek Campground to the James River Visitor Center.

Where better to learn about the evolution of transportation than along “America’s Favorite Drive?” Traveling through the James River Gorge has evolved from foot, to boat, to rail, to today's modern highway road system. At the visitor center, you can discover why Virginians built a canal system rather than simply float along James River, and why a railroad would buy an entire canal system.

Track an adventure here

Location Details

Recreational Features: Picnic Tables, Interpretive Programs
Amenities: Restrooms, Visitor Center
ADA Compliant: Partial
Seasonality: Open all year

Adventures for James River Visitor Center

Hiking

James River: Lock 7 on the James River and Kanawha Canal

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
1.00
Before trucks and trains, boats were used to transport goods long distances. At Lock 7, you can use this brochure to discover how locks were used in canal systems and how they helped in transporting goods and people by water.
Hiking

James River: Birds of the River

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
1.00
The Birds of the River brochure is an illustrated field guide containing some of the more common birds found along the trail. Each illustration contains the bird's common name, Latin name and phonetic spelling of their call. Having trouble locating birds? Use the back panel illustration to identify their preferred location within the forest.
Hiking

James River: Need for Trees

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
1.00
By following the picture and textual clues found in "The Need for Trees" brochure, you will discover six of the more common trees found in the area. During your adventure, you will learn about the need we, and other animals, have for trees and about the roles they play in the forest.
Types of Trees brochure
Hiking

Types of Trees

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
1.00
It’s easy to get confused with the various types of trees that can be found in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are more species of trees here than in all of Europe! Use this guide to identify and learn about a few of the common types of trees in the area.

Directions

Milepost 63.6 Blue Ridge Parkway
Monroe, VA 24574
Latitude: 37.555480000000
Longitude: -79.366605000000

Partners

The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The Peaks of Otter TRACK Trail was made possible through a partnership formed between the Kids in Parks program and the National Park Service.

There are several other activities for kids available on the Blue Ridge Parkway! To find out more, visit the NPS website at http://www.nps.gov/blri/forkids/index.htm