The James River Batteau Festival is an 8 day event that covers 120 miles between Lynchburg, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia.

The James River Batteau was a shallow draft river craft used during the period from 1775 to 1840 to transport tobacco and other cargo on the James River and its tributaries in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was flat bottomed and pointed at both ends. The length of the batteau varied greatly, 58 feet (17.5 m) being a common length. The bateau was propelled by batteaumen pushing with long sturdy poles. Alternate spellings of bateau include batteau, batoe and the plurals bateaux, batoes, and batteaux. Batteau is the French word for boat. In the colonial days, batteaus were used extensively in rivers throughout the eastern part of the United States. – SOURCE

Even though the working batteau is no longer used, historians and enthusiasts still keep the memory alive. Batteau crews have hand built replicas of the 18th & early 19th century flat wooden cargo vessels once used to haul tobacco to travel on an 8 day journey from Lynchburg, VA to Maiden’s Landing in Powhatan, VA. Since 1985, the James River Batteau Festival, an annual event sponsored by the Virginia Canal & Navigations Society has had as many as 25 boats and their crews travel the 120 river mile (200 km) distance each year. This event has also become very popular for kayakers and canoeists who enjoy floating along amongst the batteaux on their voyage.The Festival is from June 20-27,2020 and is the 35th Annual. MORE INFORMATION