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Home > Highlights > 2. James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8
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James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8

Recreational opportunities here include hiking, camping, picnicking and fishing. An accessible fishing pier on Otter Lake provides opportunities for visitors with impaired mobility to fish for warm water species. A pedestrian walkway connects the James River Visitor Center with restored Battery Creek Lock from the Kanawha Canal.

James River is the Parkway’s the lowest elevation (650 feet above sea level) and a historic transportation route through the mountains, represents a major geological (water gap) and cultural component of the Blue Ridge section of Virginia.

The 3.5-mile Otter Creek Trail follows the creek from the Otter Creek Campground down to the James River Visitor Center. The trail can also be accessed from overlooks at MP 61.4, 62.5 and 63.1. At the visitor center, the James River Canal Trail will take you to the restored James River and Kanawha Canal Lock that was built between 1845-51. When completed the canal had 90 locks and went from Richmond to Buchanan, Virginia.

Area hikes include: Trail of Trees, Otter Creek, Otter Lake Loop and James River Canal Trails. View map of James River & Otter Creek Area

What to Do and See

  • Hike one of the many nearby trails
  • View the restored Battery Creek Lock
  • Stop by the James River Visitor Center, MP 63.8
  • Enjoy a picnic at the picnic area
  • Camp at Otter Creek Campground, MP 60.8
  • Go fishing from the pier on Otter Lake, which is handicap-accessible
  • Eat at Otter Creek Restaurant (currently closed)

Check the operating hours and seasons for all visitor centers, campgrounds, and concessions when planning your visit. 

Natural Bridge

This page is sponsored by the Natural Bridge Hotel.

Calendar

<< October 2014 >>
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Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 6:00 pm

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 8:00 pm
22

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

Explore Lake James by Canoe

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 9:00 am

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 8:00 pm
23

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
24

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Hauntober Weekend

Friday, October 24, 2014, 9:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 24, 2014, 3:00 pm

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Friday, October 24, 2014, 3:30 pm

The Legend of Tommy Hodges: An Outdoor Drama

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:30 pm

Silent Film Screening

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Friday, October 24, 2014, 8:00 pm
25

Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Beary Scary Halloween

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 7, 2014, 6:30 pm

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 9:00 am

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

Big Lick Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

Fall Colors Canoe Excursion

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 2:00 pm

Legends of the Land

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 5:30 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

The Legend of Tommy Hodges: An Outdoor Drama

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:30 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 8:00 pm
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26

Oktoberfest

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Exploring Old Home Sites

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

Trick-or-Treat at Old Salem

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 8:00 pm
27

Oktoberfest

Monday, October 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Monday, October 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Monday, October 27, 2014, 6:00 pm
28

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

Fall Festival Downtown Trick or Treat

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 3:30 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 pm
29

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:00 pm
30

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm
31

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 31, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Friday, October 31, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:00 pm

Downtown Trick or Treat

Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:30 pm

Halloween Eve Fish, Fry, Wine & Costume Party

Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:30 pm
 

Highlights & Happenings

  • Parkway Visitor Center, MP 384
  • Visitors traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway can now make one stop to learn about the entire 469 miles and 73-year history of the Parkway. The Parkway Visitor Center opened in 2008 and unveiled innovative, high-tech interactive exhibits. The LEED-certif
  • Blue Ridge Music Center
  • The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any o
  • Julian Price Memorial Park, MP 297
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, comprises this popular park and lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks make up the largest developed area set as
  • Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2
  • An ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation. Exhibits, book sales, and a trail leading to the summit of Waterrock Knob await visitors. The last hik
  • Peaks of Otter, MP 86
  • With stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years.
  • Doughton Park, MP 240
  • Renew your senses amid this landscape of open meadows. Doughton Park is one of the best places along the Blue Ridge Parkway to view white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and grey foxes, and bobcats.  Flowers burst on the scene in late spring and crea
  • Folk Art Center, Milepost 382
  • Open year round, the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians.
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Camping
  • Camping is one way visitors traveling through the Blue Ridge Parkway can spend the night under the stars in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • Parkway Road Conditions
  • An open Parkway is a safe Parkway. Be sure to check road conditions online or by phone before you travel and during your visit.
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