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175 Best River Quotes for 2023

Watching a river, whether it’s rushing or just gurgling along, is a great example of nature’s ability to relax you and we love how rivers add interest to any landscape. Here we have gathered some of the best river quotes to inspire you or use for photo captions. Since the list is long we divided them up into groups to make it easier for you to find the river saying that works best for you. The categories include beautiful river quotes, life is like a river quotes, a river runs through it quotes, river rafting quotes, time is like a river quotes, flowing river quotes, rivers and life quotes, love is like a river quotes, funny river quotes, short river quotes for Instagram, quotations on rivers and inspirational river quotes. Scroll on down to the section of quotes about rivers that suits you.

We have also included some of the quotes on pictures of rivers we have seen around the world. We quit our jobs to travel the world over 13 years ago and have seen some incredible rivers during that time. These are our favourites river pictures including Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia, Gozo in Malta, Kingsmere River in Canada, Johnston Canyon in the Canadian Rockies, and the Seine River in Paris with our favourite river quotations.

We also have other lists of quotes and captions about nature including the sun, waterfalls, sunsets , forests, rivers, lakes, trees, mountains, the sea, sunshine and sunrise.

River Quotes

These are our favourite overall river quotations that bring across the feeling of being near a river. These make great river quotes for Instagram posts.

“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Jim Watkins

“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin

“The river has great wisdom and whispers its secrets to the hearts of men.” – Mark Twain

“Beside the river there are two things you never forget, that the moment you look at a river that moment has already passed, and that everything is on its way somewhere else.” – Niall Williams

“I was still water, held by my surroundings. I am now a river, carving my own path.” – Scott Stabile

An aquamarine river with trees on both sides and a river saying on top
This river near Hokitika, New Zealand was the most amazing aquamarine colour and incredibly clear.

“The river asked me who I was to be gazing so longingly into her curving body of cascading dreams and shifting beauty.” – Todd Crawshaw

“I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.” – Edward Abbey

“You can no more read the same book again than you can step into the same river.” – Neil Gaiman

“The sun shines not on us but in us. The Rivers flow not past, but through us.” – John Muir

If you like this quote head to our list of John Muir Quotes for more.

“Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.” – Henry David Thoreau

“I love you like a river that understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows.” – Paulo Coelho

Waterfall between rocks with waterfall love quotes by Paulo Coelho

“Sometimes there’s just no way to hold back the river.” – Paulo Coelho

“Never test the depth of river with both the feet.” – Warren Buffett

“Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.” – Justin Timberlake

“Everything is change; and you cannot step twice into the same river.” – Mary Renault

River in gorge with river quotes by Renault

“Yesterday’s gone on down the river and you can’t get it back.” – Larry McMurtry

“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.” – Hal Boyle

“He who does not know his way to the sea should take a river for his guide.” – Blaise Pascal

“He used to often say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Beautiful River Quotes

These quotes about a river are the ones that illustrate its beauty. Whether the river is rushing down a canyon or is wide and calmly heading on its way, there is beauty in it. Scroll through these beautiful river quotes to find the best quotations on rivers for you.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” – A.A. Milne

“There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf, singing from every river, shimmering from every sky.” – Dejan Stojanovic

”You can’t be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river.” – Jim Harrison

“If you have learnt enjoying life without purpose, like a flowing river, you have learnt the art of living.” – Girdhar Joshi

Clear green river in canyon with wooden walkway on the side and beautiful river quotes on top
The river running through the Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia was at times slow and placid and at times in mini rapids but it was beautiful in all its forms.

“A river is water is its loveliest form, rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart.” – Roderick Haig-Brown

“The river is such a tranquil place, a place to sit and think of romance and the beauty of nature, to enjoy the elegance of swans and the chance of a glimpse of a kingfisher.” – Jane Wilson-Howarth

“I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water…has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river.” – Roderick Haig Brown

“The river was so blue it seemed to be breathing.” – Brian Morton

“The deeper the waters are, the more still they run.” – Korean Proverb

RELATED: Short Deep Quotes

Mountains reflect in stream with proverbs about water and beautiful river quotes

“I thought how lovely and how strange a river is…” – Aidan Chambers

“A good river is nature’s life work in song.” – Mark Helprin

Life is Like a River Quotes

These quotes about rivers and life show how someone’s life can have a lot of similarities to a river. Watching how a river behaves can impart some good life lessons. Check out our other life quotes for more, including Short Quotes About Life, Funny Quotes About Life Lessons,  Inspirational Quotes About Life, Funny Quotes About Life, Enjoy Life Quotes, Live Your Best Life Quotes, Life’s Good Quotes, Happy Quotes About Life , Life and Love Quotes, Love Your Life Quotes, Sad Quotes About Life and Life Changing Quotes.

“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.” – Emma Smith

View from above of the Ganges with buildings on one side and many boats an a life is like a river quotes on top
The Ganges in Varanasi, India is one of the most famous holy rivers. It has constant activity and watching it can be entrancing.

“Life is much like a river. I can’t determine where the river comes from or where it’s flowing to. But I can immerse myself in it as it’s flowing by me.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Life is like a river. Let it flow in its own way. Never try to control it.” – Shobana Rajasundaram

“Life is like a river. The way of life is to flow with the current. To turn against it takes effort, but the current will carry you if you let it.”

“Life is like a river. It will either drag you with its flow, or you can learn to surf. Choice is yours.” – Nitin Kishore Rawat

“I understand that everything is connected, that all roads meet, and that all rivers flow into the same sea.” – Paulo Coelho

“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” – Khalil Gibran

“The River of Life has no meaning, no good, no bad, no better, no worse, no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy. The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation. The River of Life just IS.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Hitch a ride on the river of life.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Life in us is like the water in a river.” – Henry David Thoreau

A River Runs Through It Quotes

When looking at famous quotes about rivers, the movie A River Runs Through It comes up a lot. These are the best A River Runs Through It quotes about rivers.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”

Turquoise river with steep walls on both sides with the a river runs through it quotes on top
This colour of this river on the small island of Gozo reminded us of the lakes in Banff National Park that are fed by glacier water. But there is a distinct lack of glaciers on Gozo, Malta in the Mediterranean.

“Even the anatomy of a river was laid bare. Not far downstream was a dry channel where the river had run once, and part of the way to come to know a thing is through its death. But years ago I had known the river when it flowed through this now dry channel, so I could enliven its stony remains with the waters of memory.”

“The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

“On the river the heat mirages danced with each other and then they danced through each other and then they joined hands and danced around each other. Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river.”

“And I knew just as surely, just as clearly, that life is not a work of art, and that the moment could not last.”

River Rafting Quotes

Perhaps you have been river rafting – either white water rafting or simply floating along and are looking for a river rafting quote or one of the floating the river quotes. This section is for you.

“You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” – Mark Twain

People floating down river with river rafting quotes by Twain
Floating down the river can be one of the most relaxing things you can do. The Kingsmere River in Prince Albert National Park is our favourite place to do this.

“While you’re doing it, you don’t really know what you’re doing.” – Tony Curtis

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” – A. A. Milne

“There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” – Kenneth Grahame

“Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you further from home than a hundred miles on a road.” – Bob Marshall

“We have that illusion that we are ‘deciding’ what to make a character do, in order to ‘convey our message’ or something like that. But, at least in my experience, you are often more like a river-rafting guide who’s been paid a bonus to purposely steer your clients into the roughest possible water.” – George Saunders

“The song of the river ends not at her banks, but in the hearts of those who have loved her.” – Buffalo – Joe

“The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.” – Lynn Culbreath Noel

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops.”

“Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” – Norman Maclean

“TV’s like whitewater rafting: Without rocks, there wouldn’t be rapids, and it wouldn’t be as much fun.” – Joss Whedon

Quotes About How Time is Like a River

Almost as popular as comparing life to a river is comparing time to a river.

“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of your life!”

View from above of a river with pine trees and a some snow with a time is like a river quote on top
The view of the river and trees fading into fog from the Kinsol Trestle bridge on Vancouver Island, British Columbia was memorable.

“Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.” – Marcus Aurelius

“River is time in water; as it came, still so it flows, yet never is the same.” – Barten Holyday

“Time flows away like the water in the river.” – Confucius

“I wanted to change my fate, to force it down another road. I wanted to stand in the river of time and make it flow a different direction, if just for a little while.” – April Genevieve Tucholke

“The river of time may fork into rivers, in which case you have a parallel reality and so then you can become a time traveler and not have to worry about causing a time paradox.” – Michio Kaku

“Time is a river without banks.” – Marc Chagall

Flowing Water Quotes

There is something about the flow of a river that is both mesmerizing and relaxing. It can be so enjoyable to just sit by a river and watch it go by. These flowing water quotes sum up that feeling.

“I had no plans of any destination. I wish to flow like a river.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.” – John O’Donohue

River in canyon with flowing river quotes by O'Donahue
The Johnston Canyon, one of the best easy hikes in Banff National Park, Canada, follows the river along the canyon to two different waterfalls.

“Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.“  – John Muir

“A river doesn’t just carry water, it carries life.” – Amit Kalantri

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“Like a house that has a home and a river that flows, so does love become when you open your heart, even when the lights go out or the flow encounters rocks.” – Goitsemang Mvula

“In the harmonious synthesis of the opposite ends of the river, flows the stream of happiness.” – Awdhesh Singh

“The flowing river nonchalantly reminds us of life: flowing relentlessly; flowing purposelessly. Life without purpose.” – Girdhar Joshi

“Surrender to the flow of the River of Life, yet do not float down the river like a leaf or a log. While neither attempting to resist life nor to hurry it, become the rudder and use your energy to correct your course to avoid the whirlpools and undertow.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“One can flow harmoniously with the River – or one can struggle fearfully against the River – and the River just flows.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Time flows away like the water in the river.” – Confucius

Quotes About How Love is Like a River

These quotes about love and rivers show how the two things share some similarities. Or at least lots of people like to compare them. If you like love quotes check out our lists of Short Love Quotes, I Love You Quotes for Her, I Love You Quotes for Him, Romantic Quotes, True Love Quotes, Love You More Quotes, Love of My Life Quotes, Thinking of You Quotes, Lost Love Quotes, Cute Love Quotes, Funny Love Quotes and Love Yourself Quotes.

“Our love was a river, always changing under the mercy of nature’s elements, but we continued to flow, even when we trickled.” – Shannon A. Thompson

“Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle.” – Crystal Middlemas

“Love is a choice. It’s a decision.’ She told us, ‘It flows into, through, and out of each person like a river. If you try to stop it, it’ll sneak around until It finds another heart and breaks through.” – Charles Martin

Person looking at lake with water love quotes

“I am in love, and the river is beginning to ice over. I’d better go drown myself before I freeze to death.” – Dark Jar Tin Zoo

“Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle.” – Crystal Middlemas

“Wondering if you are Love is like the river wondering if it is water.”

“Don’t push the river, it will flow. Don’t push the love, it will grow.”

The river Seine in Paris with quotes about rivers and love
Watching the Seine River is one of the most romantic things you can do in Paris. We make sure to spend time at the river even on short trips to Paris.

“Love is a river. Drink from it.” – Rumi

“Love is the world’s river of life.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“Love without trust is a river without water.” – Harbhajan Singh Yogi

“Love is the river of life in the world.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Funny River Quotes

Sometimes you are looking for an amusing river quote for Instagram. If so, these are for you! If you like funny quotes and sayings, you should also check out our lists of Short Funny Quotes, Funny Good Morning QuotesFunny Love QuotesFunny Work QuotesFunny Quotes of the DayFunny Quotes About Life and Funny Inspirational Quotes.

“When you go out in a boat you don’t want to get that sinking feeling.” – Anthony T.Hincks

“I live in a van, down by the river!” – Chris Farley

“Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle.” – Woody Allen

“What happens at the river stays at the river.”

“Floating on the river, killin’ my liver.”

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” – Mark Twain

Fellucas sailing on the Nile with a funny river saying on top
A ride on a felluca on the Nile River is a key part of any visit to Egypt.

“The best place to drink beer is at home. Or on a river bank, if the fish dont bother you.”

“Life is better on the river.”

Short River Quotes for Instagram

And sometimes even a short river quote will get across what you want to say and they are perfect river quotes for Instagram. Short and sweet can be the way to go in some cases. If you like short quotes check out our lists of Short Inspirational Quotes, Short Quotes About Life, Short Positive Quotes, Short Deep Quotes, Funny Short Quotes, Short Cute Quotes, Short Friendship Quotes, Short Quotes About Change, Short Travel Quotes and Best Short Quotes.

“Be like a river. Be open. Flow.” – Julie Connor

“The river of knowledge has no depth.” – Chinonye J. Chidolue

“Like the river, keep on flowing.” – Avijeet Das

River with mountains behind and short river quotes for Instagram by Avijeet Das
We have gone trekking in the himalayas in Nepal many times and the combination of the alpine rivers and mountains is always beautiful.

“A river unneeded still finds its way down to the ocean.” – Will Advise

“The night. The stars. The river.” – Edward Abbey

“The only way to understand a river is to jump into it.” – Alice Hoffman

“A river is easier to channel than to stop.” – Brandon Sanderson

“Hope is a continuous flowing river.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” – Loren Eiseley

“If the earth is a mother then rivers are her veins.” – Amit Kalantri

“We steer the boat, we don’t alter the river.” – J. Earp

Sunset on lake with short water quotes for Instagram

“The river looked miles and miles across.” – Mark Twain

“Live like a mighty river.” – Gautama Buddha

“Don’t try to steer the river.” – Deepak Chopra

“A river has many curves, but it always reaches the ocean.” – Donald L. Hicks

“Cross the river by feeling for stones.” – Deng Xiaoping

“Don’t push the river. Just go with it.” – Alysia Reiner

”A river doesn’t just carry water, it carries life.” – Amit Kalantri

“A good river is nature’s life work in song.” – Mark Helprin

RELATED: 40 Short Nature Quotes: Inspirational Thoughts on Nature

Inspirational Quotes About Rivers

There are a lot of quotes that are also inspirational. If you like inspirational quotes check out our lists of Short Inspirational Quotes, Inspirational Morning Quotes, Inspirational Quotes for Today, Funny Inspirational Quotes and Inspirational Quotes for Work.

“Rivers never go in reverse. So try to live like a river. Forget your past and focus on your future.”

man swimming down river with tall canyon walls on both sides with a inspirational river quotes on top
The Somoto Canyon in Nicaragua is not well known but is a fun place to visit where you hike, explore and swim down the river.

“It is from small streams that big rivers rise.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

“A winter message from the river: Never surrender! Life can try to stop you, but somehow find a way to flow!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” – Rumi

“The river embraces me and guides me to swim inside her and to drink the nectar of love from her bosom. She tells me her secrets and I tell her mine.” – Avijeet Das

“A boat can cross a river, a ship can cross a sea, and a soul can cross the universe.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

“A river will find its path to the ocean, be positive and be focused” – P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

“Do not despise the water droplets that you receive. Soon, they will be a river.” – Bruce Mbanzabugabo

“Learn from a river; obstacles may force it to change its course, but never its destination.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

“Make hope just like water in your life.” – Khaled Ibrahim

Lake reflection with inspirational quotes on water by Ibrahim

“Patience is the river that finds its way to the sea, by flowing through many confluences.” – Mladen Đorđević

“Witnessing is not flowing with the current of the river but observing the flow from the bank of the river.” – Amit Ray

“The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it’s going to go and where you’ll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone deter you from that.” – Eartha Kitt

“With heavy rainfall, the river will overflow its banks. This is spirit of gratitude; the more grateful you are, the more your life overflow with abundance.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

“What you give away comes back to you in a river.” – Robin Sharma

Water Quotes

If you like river quotes you’ll love our favorites from our list of Water Quotes. You might also like our other lists of quotes about water including Lake Quotes, Sea Quotes, Rain Quotes, and Waterfall Quotes.

“The places where water comes together with other water. Those places stand out in my mind like holy places.” ― Raymond Carve

“Water, in all its forms, is what carries the knowledge of life throughout the universe.”― Anthony T. Hincks

“These landscapes of water and reflection are an obsession.” – Claude Monet

Mountains reflected in lake with water reflection quotes by Monet

“Water sustains all.” – Thales of Miletus

“In time and with water everything changes.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“A calm water is like a still soul.”― Lailah Gifty Akita

“All water has a perfect memory and is trying to get back to where it was.” – Toni Morrison

“I believe that water is the closest thing to a god we have here on Earth. We are in awe of its power and majestic beauty. We are drawn to it as if it’s a magical, healing force. We gestate in water, are made of water, and need to drink water to live. We are living in water.”― Alex Z. Moores

“Water is the driving force in nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Person looking at waterfall with quotes for water by da Vinci

“Like water, every moment is precious.”― Michael Bassey Johnson

”Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.” – Margaret Atwood

“The water in the stream may have changed many times, but the reflection of the moon and the stars remains the same.” – Rumi

“Be like water. Flow, crash, fly!”― Md. Ziaul Haque

“The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing.” – Bruce Lee

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” — Loren Eiseley

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress.” – Margaret Atwood

“Water is always working, reorganizing the land.”― Tim Palmer

Waterfall with thoughts about water by Palmer

“The water tells none of its secrets.” ― Nikos Engonopoulos

“When water falls, it flies.”― Anthony T. Hincks

“Water is the soul of the Earth.” — W. H. Auden

River Captions for Instagram

These are our favourites captions about rivers on our list of the best River Captions for Instagram.

  • Take me to the river, drop me in the water
  • River water is just like poem without words
  • Rollin rollin rollin on the river
  • River rules: Live, love, swim!
  • Day dreams of river streams
  • On river time
River framed by trees and backed by mountains with a short river captions that reads on river time
  • Life is good, but its better on rivers
  • To the river I go, to lose my mind and find my soul
  • Life is simple, just add water
  • Keeping it reel on the river
  • River hair, don’t care
  • Wander often, wonder always
  • I don’t need a river to be lazy
Blue river with mountain behind and a funny river captions that reads I don't need a river to be lazy
  • Happiness comes in currents
  • Keep calm and paddle on
  • Lost on the river. Don’t bother me.
  • We steer the boat, we don’t alter the river
  • River Relaxed
  • River toe dipping
  • Cry me a river
Rivew iwth trees and mountains and a river captions for Instagram
  • On river time
  • Curves of life
  • The river is everywhere
  • Forever a river lover
  • Life is better on the river
  • Practicing being still like a mountain and flowing like a river
  • Smell the river and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly
River with moss covered stone and green water and a river captions for Instagram that reads day dreams of river streams
  • Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it
  • A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence

That wraps up our list of the best river quotes. Let us know in the comments if we have missed any of your favourites.

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River in canyon

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