James River, Virginia - Balcony Falls Run

On December 27th I floated the Balcony Falls section of the James River with two of my brothers and two of my nephews. Temps were in the 50s and the river was low but running! My youngest brother & i were in packrafts (his first time ever in one) and my oldest brother and two of his son’s were in kayaks. We had a great day - although my brother took a nice swim and given that he was only wearing poly-pro it zapped the strength right out of him!

The Balcony Falls section of the James is a 5 mile stretch with a few class II rapids and one class II+/III rapid. In the summer it’s a great run with excellent swimming holes - although it can get a tad crowded. We had the river to ourselves and my youngest nephew (14) schooled us all in surfing lessons!

More pix here.

My brother, Charlie, running his first packraft rapid!

My 14 year-old nephew jumps right back into surfing after taking a beating and getting flipped minutes earlier.

The James in December

The wall above my brothers in this photo was designed by George Washington and originally constructed around 1800 and housed the Kanawha Canal.

Charlie Don’t Surf!

What happens when Charlie surfs: he goes swimming and has to get out of his wet clothes!!

any idea what water levels were, i’ll be there in two weeks, it seems dry lately…