A Quiet and Relaxing Spot on the James River
The James River is one of RVA’s unique assets. Beyond providing inspiration for the River City’s nickname, the James is also home to the nation’s only urban Class III and IV rapids.
While Texas Beach doesn’t offer the city’s best kayaking, there are beautiful hikes that allow for spectacular views of the mighty James. At the end of Texas Avenue, a parking lot marks the top of Texas Beach. From there, follow the path across the bridge, down the stairs, and to the left. The trail goes on for another mile in this direction, with opportunities to cross train tracks to extend your hike or turn around and go for another mile or so in the other direction.
Texas Beach, or North Bank Park (depending on what you want to call it), is usually much quieter than other popular spots like Pony Pasture, Belle Island, or 42nd Street. With that privacy comes a variety of activities to keep you occupied. From fishing (be prepared for largemouth bass, sunfish, flatheads, blue and channel catfish, as well as the occasional longnose gar), to snorkeling, hiking, swimming, or even sunbathing and rock hopping, Texas Beach can be an incredible way to relax. Due to the length of the trail (2.75 miles), Texas Beach is perfect for long walks with your dog, too.
Just don’t be tricked by the name. Texas Beach has considerably more trees and mud than sand, so maybe flip-flops aren’t the best idea.
– Mike Kaplan, 8 year resident of Richmond