Phil Riggan at Richmond.com reports that Williams Island is now officially part of the James River Park System (technically, it’s still owned by the Department of Public Utilities, but they have given the official go-ahead for parks to manage the 95-acre island across from Pony Pasture).
I’m always amazed by the number of people who have no idea that what you see from Riverside Drive by Pony Pasture is not actually the north bank of the James. It’s Williams Island, and it’s big enough that you can spend hours exploring it. The only catch: except in very low-water conditions, when you can rock hop or wade, it’s only accessible by kayak or canoe.
Writes Riggan: The relatively flat island has always been a popular fishing spot, according to (JRPS manager Ralph) White. There are worn foot paths through the wild underbrush all around the island, most likely “maintained” and shared by a combination of fisherman and wildlife.
“The island is a unique biological study site as flood waters have continually placed different plant species on the upstream end of the island from those on the down stream end,” White said.
The JRPS also added another parcel recently, Lord Delaware’s Island, sometimes known as Mylord’s Island, east of Ancarrow’s Landing, near Rockett’s Landing, in the tidal James. These additions mean the James River Park now encompasses more than 650 acres, spread over 20 parcels.