Great Shiplock Park

The great lock, built between 1850-1854, connected the James River with the Richmond Dock, completing the James River and Kanawha Canal system that bypassed seven miles of falls and continued 197 miles through Virginia’s western mountain ranges. This park is the lowest of historic Kanawha Canal locks with an interpretive display. It also offers great fishing off Chapel Island. Largemouth bass (special regulations for black bass not in effect below I-95 bridge), year-round channel catfish and sunfish. The fishery in this area is influenced, in late March through early June, by anadromous fish, which are migrating from salt water to fresh water on their annual spawning runs. Great Shiplock Park is the site of the western trailhead of the 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail, which extends from Richmond to Williamsburg.