Rivanna River Company comes to Fluvanna

By Page H. Gifford

Gabe and Sonya Silver are bringing Rivanna River Company to Fluvanna for fun-filled educational rides down the Rivanna, enjoying Fluvanna’s natural resources. Floating down the river on a summer’s day or in the fall with the vibrant foliage, while being engulfed in nature’s tranquility helps humans connect with their environment and at the same time de-stress and feel calm. It reminds Fluvanna residents of the wonderful natural resources that abound within the county’s borders.

Along with the Silvers, Economic Development Director Jennifer Schmack, Beth Thomas, and Horace Scruggs had the idea and worked together to make it happen. Bringing this business to Fluvanna fits in with the vision of tourism and enjoying Fluvanna’s natural resources.

The Rivanna River Company (RRC) was founded by Sonya and Gabe Silver in 2016 as Charlottesville’s first paddle sports outfitter. The company provides self-guided kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, and river tubing trips. RRC staff also offer guided trips and custom group programs for numerous organizations such as schools, camps, clubs, and local businesses and nonprofits. The RRC hosts numerous public events such as river festivals and outdoor concerts at its riverfront location.

Inspired by the love of the outdoors and nature was the reason the couple started the company, sharing their enthusiasm by making river trips accessible to everyone.

“We have enjoyed tremendous community support in Charlottesville since starting our company,” says Gabe Silver. “Now we are excited to have this opportunity to partner with E.W. Thomas and Fluvanna County to bring our services to this beautiful area. We hope to give current river users a convenient shuttle option, while also introducing a new audience to the Fluvanna river experience.”

E.W. Thomas owner, Beth Thomas is excited about the activities that will be taking place and happy to be a part of it.

“It’s a win-win, it’s about time and I don’t mind the traffic,” she said.

Horace Scruggs doesn’t hide his love of the river and like Thomas is also excited and supportive.

“I love the knowledge and the history of the river and this is an opportunity to share it,” said Scruggs. Gabe has arranged trips down the river for people from Washington D.C. and Richmond and as far away as Raleigh, N.C. For those meandering down the river, they will be introduced to the rich history of colonial navigation. Named for Queen Anne, the riverbanks were home to the Monacan Indian tribe and before the Revolutionary War through the 1900s, people navigated the waters in flat-bottomed boats known as batteaux, carrying crops to Richmond.

With environmental protection uppermost in the minds of many, the trip down the river is also key in understanding ecosystems, habitats, and the need to protect these precious natural resources.

“It’s a peaceful, gentle trip down the river that takes about two and half hours; it’s an easy trip,” said Gabe Silver.

RRC will launch its first two trips on June 10 with E.W. Thomas being the hub for everyone to gather for the trips. Gabe added that people can rent or bring their own boat. Details still have to be worked out and more information will be forthcoming when available. Visit https://rivannarivercompany.com/ for company information.

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