RiverPalooza Kick Off

Rafting and Kayaking

Title: Millville to Potoma Wayside
Rivers: Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers
Trip Description: Whether you are an absolute, never-done-it-before whitewater novice or a hardcore, adrenaline-junkie veteran paddler, this is the trip for you! Join your Shenandoah Riverkeeper and Potomac Riverkeeper to run the confluence stretch of the Shenandoah where she merges with the Potomac River. You’ll put in at Millville, hit all the best whitewater in the Harpers Ferry area, and take out at Potoma Wayside (just upstream of the Rt. 340 bridge)—which just so happens to have a gorgeous hidden waterfall where Piney Run spills into the Potomac.

This beautifully scenic paddle will take us down through Bull Falls, the Staircase, past Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, and through the Mad Dog and White Horse Rapids—literally the best whitewater in the Harpers Ferry area. It’s gonna be sooo much fun! Stretches of this paddle are along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

But wait! How can stone-cold rookie paddlers hang with the grizzled veteran paddlers wanting to strut their stuff in shredders and play boats? Easy—we’re all running the same water, but with 3 different boat configurations designed for all skill levels:

  1. Seat in a guided raft: For beginners and less experienced paddlers wanting to experience the thrill, but with a modicum of protection added in, we have contracted with River Riders to provide six-person (including the guide) rafts with expert guides to get you safely down the river. You are not just sitting there watching. You are an integral part of the team with a paddle in hand, working with your guide and fellow raft-mates to navigate your way down the river. Perfect for families, first-timers, and older folks!
  2. Ducky: Want to be the captain of your own ship but don’t have a ship to captain? Sign up for a River Rider ducky rental! Duckies are inflatable kayaks, incredibly forgiving, and a blast to paddle. Experience whitewater paddling for yourself in a safe and enjoyable environment with lots of paddler friends and raft guides to provide encouragement and assistance, if needed. Too much work? See “Tubing on the Potomac” below if you just want to lay back and soak in a few rays while enjoying a shorter, easy float through some fun rapids. See the “easy float through” option below.
  3. Shuttle Service: Do you have your own whitewater kayak (sorry, no canoes for this event) and still want to join in the fun? You’re in luck! River Riders is providing shuttle service for our RiverPalooza 2018 event. River Riders’ guides are not responsible for people paddling their own boats. Sign up now so you can say, “Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt too!”

Once we dry off and catch our breath from the trip, we encourage everyone to stop by Harpers Ferry Adventure Center and continue having fun on terra firma. Riverkeepers are planning on camping and everyone will want to check out the new HFAC Brew Pub overlooking the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah! Please be sure to secure a campsite or cabin directly through Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (540) 668-9007.

  • Lead Riverkeepers:
    Mark Frondorf – 571-969-0746 or mark@shenandoahriverkeeper.org
    Dean Naujoks – 336-809-6041 or dean@potomacriverkeeper.org
  • Outfitter and Arrival Location:
    River Riders, Inc.
    408 Alstadts Hill Rd
    Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
    (800) 326-7238
  • Arrival Time: 12:00 PM for paddle trip; anticipated take-out time 4:30 PM
  • Paddle Distance: 7 miles
  • Skill Level: Beginner to advanced
  • Boat Options and Costs (including registration for party):
    Ducky rental: $65
    Raft: $75 per raft seat
    BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat): $35 per boat for the shuttle. WHITEWATER KAYAKS ONLY—NO CANOES. BYOB is not considered part of the guided float

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