By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent
Williamsburg and James City County are premier locations for boating and fishing enthusiasts to live and visit in Virginia. The James River is just a short distance from the Chesapeake Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway. Marinas near the James River are a wonderful, restful berth for boaters and offer the amenities, and sometimes- dining. Inlets and coves used since colonial times and perhaps longer allow the boater a pleasant respite from the busy James River channel, which carries boats from the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel to the piers of Richmond, Virginia. There are several well-maintained public boat launches in the area that lead into the James or Chickahominy Rivers, or allow access to lakes or reservoirs.
Jamestown Yacht Basin (757)-229-8309
If it is convenience to the James River you are searching for, the Jamestown Yacht Basin is located on Powhatan Creek, nearby Historic Jamestown, just a five-minute boat ride from the James River. Speed boats and jet skis are permitted to launch from this marina. Boats coming via the Colonial Parkway, on trailers, have a 12 foot height restriction, due to tunnels. The Yacht Basin has 125 wetslips, but they are usually booked, so call ahead. The fully functional marina has a boat launch and stocks boat supplies, ice, gas, and marine fuel. Fish caught in the immediate area include catfish, croaker, striped bass, and large mouth bass. Jamestown Yacht Basin is the only covered marina in James City County.
Kingsmill Marina (757)-253-3919
If docking and dining is on the plan for the evening, Kingsmill Marina is a pleasant place to unwind. It's also an opportunity to experience all there is to do at Kingsmill Resort & Spa, including golfing, tennis, other recreation and traditional spa treatments such as massage and facials. Kingsmill has a full-service marina with 15 transient boat slips equipped with water and power connections. Concrete floating docks make embarking and disembarking easier, and the convenience of full-service dockside fueling may be welcome for some boaters. Have a bite to eat at The Deck at the Marina - with light fare and live entertainment complemented by a panoramic view of the James River. The marina store stocks boating and fishing supplies and other provisions. To access Kingsmill Resort & Spa's Marina, which is just 35 miles upriver from the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, look for channel marker #40 on the James River.
Two Rivers Country Club Marina (757)-258-4863
Two Rivers Country Club is located in a protected, private harbor nearby the intersection of the James and Chickahominy Rivers One hundred boat slips can be housed at this Yacht Club with exclusive membership. There are 78 slips at the 25-50' depth range. There are 8 transient slips at the Yacht Club. A maximum of 50' boats are permitted. Water, electric, and boat dock boxes are included with all slips. Amenities include a boat launching ramp, fuel service, a terrace with a covered awning and tables, an office, shop, laundry, bathroom, showers, and ice.
Waller Mill Park, Williamsburg (757) 220-6178
This fishing lake is maintained by the City of Williamsburg Parks and Recreation and only rowboats, canoes, pedal boats and kayaks are allowed. No gasoline boats are permitted in Waller Mill Park, but electric motors are permitted, and they are available for rental for $15-20 per day. This is a great fishing lake -- well stocked with striped bass, large mouth bass, blue gill, yellow and white perch, catfish, and red-earred bream. Fishing is only permitted from boats. Waller Mill Park is Williamsburg's 2700-acre park situated around its reservoir and has been open to the public for 24 years. The 343-acre lake has a tunnel connecting the upper and lower sections of the lake. To get to Waller creek, take Airport Road (Rt. 645), which connects I-64 and Rt. 60 West.
Chickahominy Riverfront Park (828)-258-5020
At the mouth of the Chickahominy River, approximately 1/2 mile from the James River is Chickahominy Riverfront Park which offers a four wide boat ramp. Speed boats and jet skis are permitted to launch here, and boats are also available for rental. For directions, log on to http://www.jccegov.com/recreation/directions.html#Anchor-Chickahomin-40400.
Diascund Creek Resevoir
This public boat launch, Diascund Landing is overseen by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is right in James City county. From Williamsburg, Go West on Rt. 60 at past Norge for 8 miles until the intersection of Route 603 north. Boat access is 1/2 mile on the right.
Marine Weather Reports
For any jaunts on the Rivers near Williamsburg and in James City County, always remember conditions can change. It's a great idea to check the weather report before heading out for a boat cruise with family and friends. Here is a the National Weather Service Forecast, with a base in Wakefield, Virginia, just across the James River from Williamsburg. Consult the NOAA site for direct weather information: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/forecasts/VAZ090.php?warncounty=VAC095&city=Williamsburg.
Have a pleasant cruise on these Virginia rivers. If you are looking for a permanent home for your boat with a dock, contact me at 757-288-4685. I'd love to show you some waterfront property in this area. Don't forget to visit www.voncannonrealestate.com for other articles on the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area or for more information.