My son and I had a memorable time whitewater rafting with River City Rafting Company. Highly recommended for a fun filled morning and well worth the cost. This was my first time whitewater rafting in the James, even though I've lived in Richmond all my life. I was impressed by the experienced, knowledgeable and safety conscious guides. They are professionals. We went on a Wednesday in July at 9 a.m. and were finished by about noon. There were 18 participants and 3 guides on our city trip. We all fit into 3 rafts - each raft had 1 guide and 6 participants. At the office, we signed waivers and were fitted with life jackets and helmets. Then we piled into a couple of vans to go to our put-in point. Before getting into the water, the guide gave us clear safety instructions and paddling instructions. Everyone uses a paddle, but the paddling isn't constant so it's not tiring at all. The minimum age to participate is 12. There was a family with 13 year old twins, my son who is 17, plus lots of young adults, couples in their 30's and 40's, and a few, like me, who are over 50. During the trip, we went through Class I, II, III and IV rapids. We also took a few minutes to float and swim in the river and stopped at Belle Isle for a water and snack break. Our trip started on the south side of the James River near 44th street and continued through the city over the Hollywood and Pipeline rapids until we reached the 14th Street Bridge (Mayo Bridge), where we got out on the north side (downtown) of the river. We were met by the vans and taken back to the office where our cars were parked in a fenced in area. The office is near the river in an older part of Richmond, and I was glad to see that there was a fenced in lot for guest parking because I was a little concerned about parking and leaving my vehicle. You can leave your car keys in the office while you are rafting. They have changing rooms so you can put on dry clothes before you leave. You do need to make reservations in advance.
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