Wildlife & History Tour


Wildlife & History Tour

Discover the James offers a unique 2-Hour Wildlife & History Tour. Combining history with wildlife, highlighted by the historical comeback of the bald eagle creates a special way to spend two hours on the James River. The five-mile section traveled, called Jefferson's Reach, saw the Civil War, Capt. John Smith, Sir Thomas Dale and the Virginia Indians.  

This river tour is presented from the Discovery Barge II, a 24-foot, covered pontoon boat and is great anytime of the year. Departure location is at Deep Bottom Park and is 15 minutes from downtown Richmond.  

To see a bald eagle in the wild is a wonderful experience, but the variety of other animals in the wild along the tidal James is something to behold.  Look for great blue heron, deer and wild turkey along the shoreline. Search the tree line and sky for hawks, vultures and an occasional falcon.  In the spring, summer & fall watch as osprey return and build nests, raise their young and hunt for food.  Keep a sharp eye out on the surface and view carp splashing along the shoreline while gizzard shad and longnose gar poke at the surface.  In late August, September and October giant Atlantic sturgeon can be seen breaching from the depths of the river.  All this in the backyard of downtown Richmond.

        Wildlife & History Tour:  $275 for up to six people
2-Hour Tour.
Departs from Deep Bottom Park unless otherwise noted.
For more information or to book a Wildlife & History Tour:
Contact Capt. Mike at 804-938-2350 or Mike@DiscovertheJames.com

Top image: A photo collage of a bald eagle, by Marlene Frazier, and Capt. John Smith's map of 1612. a perfect combination of wildlife, art and history. --Photo by Marlene Frazier, collage by Discover the James.

Left photo:  This great blue heron's name is 'Chuck'.  Local professional photographer, Al Warfield, shot this image of Chuck.  As we spotted him, I shut off the engine and we just drifted down wind ... as we neared him, this old bird took a few steps and was off into the air.  Chuck is one of the coolest blue heron on the tidal James.  Chuck flies up and down the river following us for some reason.  Now some people might not believe this heron follows my pontoon boat, but at least it's pretty cool to think that maybe, just maybe it's possible. --Photo by Al Warfield

To the left: This image was taken in 1864 and shows a view from Battery Dantzler, looking out over the James River towards the east. Battery Dantzler is located high upon a bluff on te west side of Trent's Reach, the front line of the Civil War on the James River. --Historical Photo, Library of Congress

Right, bottom photo: A mature bald eagle sits in a nest with her offspring. A mated pair of adult bald eagles will share time in the nest over the next six week, until the young eagles are 80-90 days old. That is when they will fledge, or fly for the first time. --Photo by Bob Schamerhorn