Our History

James River Runners was started in 1979 by Jeff and Christie Schmick. What started as a small canoe and tube livery grew over the years to one of the largest canoe/kayak/raft and tube rental companies on the James River. Jeff and Christie had a loyal following. They helped countless Boy Scout troops, church groups, University of Virginia departments and students and fellow floaters from all over the world.

James River Runners can boast customers from 86 countries and all 50 states. JRR has always been a big supporter of the Scottsville community. Jeff and Christie started the JRR Chili Cook Off 35 years ago to support the local volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Departments and their water rescue teams. The event has raised over $300,000 over the years.

When Jeff and Christie decided to retire Chris and Paige Wilkes bought the business. They have been owners there for 14 years now. Not much has changed and they are proud to continue the tradition of offering the best float on the James River. They continue to support the community with river and road clean up as well as donating gift cards to local charities. Unfortunately the Fire Department and Rescue have decided not to hold the Chili Cook Off due to county event fees and lack of community donations.