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Virginia, Blue Ridge Parkway, Otter Lake, Otter Creek,

Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 60 – 63.8: James River Visitor Center and Otter Creek Campground

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.

Virginia, Blue Ridge Parkway, James River Visitor Center, Canal Lock Walk,

by Jeff Greenberg

James River is the Parkway’s 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.

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 ADA-accessible

Otter Creek Campground | MP 60.8

The Parkway’s Otter Creek area provides a campground with 45 tent and 24 trailer sites, restrooms, water, and a campfire circle. Many of the campsites are along the banks of Otter Creek.

Amenities