Class III Balcony Falls rapid.

Reservations are required.

  • Minimum age is 14 years old.
  • Minimum of 2 paddlers.
  • Maximum of 8 paddlers.
  • This trip can start any day of the week except Saturday.
  • 4 ft. max on Buchanan river gauge for the Snowden section.

Want more river?

We can take you farther up the river to Springwood. This would add about 5 miles and 2 hours to your paddle on the first day.

The ultimate camping trip!

Paddle 27 miles over 3 days!​

Buchanan's public boat landing is about 20 miles upstream on the James River from WCC. Snowden is a public boat landing about 7 miles downstream from WCC. This trip will require carrying all camping gear in your canoe/raft for the first day/night.

Get started.

Arrive at WCC the day of your trip with all necessary camping gear including dry bags (heavy duty trash bags work). Transfer all necessary camping gear into our van and park your vehicles in your designated camping spot. Walk back to the office for a brief orientation and the shuttle to Buchanan.

Load your gear in your canoe/raft and head down river 6 miles to Arcadia. That should take about 3 hours.

Breeden Bottom Campground is just under the highway bridge on the river right. Park your boat and set up camp in your designated campsite. A portable toilet will be provided, but all other necessities must be packed in and packed out.

The next day.

Remove all trash, fully extinguish your fire and load your gear back in your canoe/raft. Head down river to WCC, about 14 miles or 5 to 6 hours (depending on river level).

Once at WCC, park your boat at the take out, unload your camping gear and head to your designated campsite.

On the third day.

Sit on top kayaks or rafts will be waiting for you at the river take-out. Paddle down river to the Snowden public boat landing, about 7 miles or 3-4 hours.

This section, also known as Balcony Falls, is the most technical and not recommended for beginners. A rock garden begins approximately a mile down river of Glasgow and marks the beginning of the whitewater section, which includes numerous Class I, II and III rapids.

This section becomes class VI at high levels and will not be paddled when the river level is over 4 ft. on the Buchanan river gauge.

You made it!

Once the rapids are over, two miles of flat water will lead you to the last take-out on the Upper James River Water Trail. You get to paddle under the Appalachian Trail Foot Bridge before reaching the concrete boat ramp on the river left. Several hydro-electric dams block the river for the next 28 miles.

Pack up and depart.

Your boats and gear will be loaded on our vans and return you back to your campsite at WCC for you to pack up and depart.

Buchanan to Snowden

Wilderness Canoe Co.

Strong Class II upstream from Glasgow.

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