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Dutch Gap Conservation Area and Boat Landing


Dutch Gap Layout (PDF)

Nature Programs - Dutch Gap (PDF)


  1. Boat Slide (Canoe and Kayak)
  2. Camping Area
  3. Fishing
  4. Observation Blind
  5. Picnic Shelters
  6. Restrooms
  7. Trails

About the Area

The 796-acre Dutch Gap Conservation Area surrounds Henricus Historical Park and features diverse woodlands, wetlands, and the old meandering channel of the James River. “Dutch Gap” refers to Sir Thomas Dale’s attempt in 1611 to shorten river travel by cutting a new channel to bypass this meander. A 4.5-mile trail loop leads visitors around a tidal lagoon, where numerous species of birds and an abundance of other wildlife can be found. The area includes a blue heron rookery and a 2.5-mile Lagoon Water Trail, where paddlers can observe the “graveyard” of submerged barges and several islands. Dutch Gap also provides a boat landing on the James River.

See the Park Layout (PDF)

Park Amenities

  • Camping Area (for organized groups, fees apply)
  • Fishing Access
  • Kayak / Canoe Access (441 Coxendale Road)
  • Lagoon Water Trail (PDF)
  • Observation Blind
  • Picnic Shelters (3)
  • Restrooms
  • Walking Trails (5.8 miles)

Dutch Gap Trail

  • 4.5 mile loop
  • Open for hiking, biking, walking, running and horseback riding

Lagoon Water Trail

  • 2.5 mile tidal Lagoon water trail
  • Explore by kayak or canoe
  • Observe the “Graveyard” of barges, wetlands, islands and a heron rookery
  • Safe flat-water environment suitable for beginners
  • View Trail Map (PDF)

Bird Watching

  • Superb in all seasons with the diverse habitats
  • Two observation platforms along the road entrance and bird blinds in the conservation area


  • Five docks along the River Trail situated throughout the conservation area
  • Tidal waters bring residential freshwater as well as migratory fish

Kayak / Canoe Tour

Individuals and groups can schedule a private kayak / canoe tour in the tidal lagoon.
  • 3-hour program, includes nature guides, boats, paddles and floatation devices
  • Minimum age is 7
  • Two hours of paddle time

Additional Information