UPDATE: Virginia's Blue Ridge is Now Open in Phase Three

Virginia's Blue Ridge is now open in the Phase Three stage of the Commonwealth's Forward Virginia plan. Learn more about the program and what it means for various types of businesses & experiences in the region with our Phase Three Guidelines page. Phase Three >

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Virginia DWR - Boating Access Permits & Information

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources - Boating Access License

Effective January 1, 2021, anyone using a Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources owned or managed facility, including boating access sites, will be required to have a proper permit or license.

The permit will be required for all operators at any boating access site, except for persons under the age of 17 or any passengers with a permitted operator. 

Acceptable access permits include:

If you plan to go boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, tubing, or paddleboarding in Virginia's Blue Ridge on a Virginia DWR owned or managed facility, please make sure you have the proper permits in advance.

If you're at a Virginia DWR access site without the necessary permit, you can use the Department of Wildlife Resources' Online Licensing Portal to purchase through the website or app.

For more information about access permits and this program, Virginia DWR has an FAQ page on its website >


Smith Mountain Lake Virginia

Virginia DWR Public Boating Access Sites in Virginia's Blue Ridge

If you'll be getting on the water in Virginia's Blue Ridge at one of the public boating sites at any of the locations featured below, you'll need to have a a valid permit or license. Select the location for a list of public boating access sites.

Also, if booking a trip with an outfitter, such as Twin River Outfitters on the James River, please purchase your permit in advance.

Roanoke Valley Spotlight