Harpers Ferry Adventure Center FAQs

Will I get wet on your trips?   Yes you will get wet on our rafting and Harpers Ferry tubing trips. We suggest that you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet in or possibly muddy.  Please leave your rings, jewelry and valuables at home. Also you should not take your camera or cell phone on any river trip unless you pack it in an approved waterproof container.  We cannot be held responsible if you choose to take your valuables and cell phone on the trip with you and they are lost or damaged. Waterproof disposable cameras are available in our Adventure shop and take excellent shots.

How many people can fit into one raft?  Our rafts hold 6-8 people and 1 guide in each raft.  If you have a group more than 6 we will have you split your group up between other rafts. 

How long is the trip?
Depending on the adventure you choose the distance and time required to complete the adventure varies.
White water tubing:  Between 1.5-2.5 hours (on water time) depending on water levels
Flat water tubing:  Between 1-2 hours (on water time) depending on water levels
White water rafting:  Between 2-3 hours (on water time) based on water levels and number of rafts going out also dependent on river location. 
Zip lining: Between 1-2 hours based on the size of the group.

Does tubing include transportation?
Yes our tubing rates include your shuttle to and from the river, a tube, a PFD and unlimited trips for the day (unless otherwise noted due to high river levels). Just be aware of the last pick up times.

Are reservations needed?
Reservations are recommended for all activities, and required for guided trips.  Full payment is required at the time of reservation.  We can accommodate walk ins as well based on availability however, space is limited and some trips do reach capacity especially during our prime season (June-August).  It is best to reserve your spot as far in advance as possible. 

What should I bring for my trip?  We recommend bringing an extra change of clothes/shoes and a towel to change into afterwards. We do have changing rooms available.

Can I bring alcohol on my trip?  We do not allow alcohol on any of our trips. Furthermore we use National Park Service land for entry of our trips and they have signage strictly enforcing that alcohol is prohibited on their property. Alcohol dehydrates your body and with the summer heat pounding on you in the river that is a combination for a possible accident.  We want you be safe and have an enjoyable trip so we believe you should save the fun for after the run. 

What are the age/weight restrictions for your trips?  Flat water tubing min. 4 years old and 50lbs White water tubing min.12 years old and 70lbs.  White water rafting min. 5 years old and 50lbs, Ziplining min. 60lbs max 250lbs. Flat water canoeing min. 5 years old and 50lbs.  Flat water kayaking 8 years old and 60lbs. 

What if it rains?  All trips go rain or shine.  In the event of a thunderstorm we will hold up a trip until the storm passes and then resume.  We reserve the right to relocate or change the raft size, number of participants and minimum age of participants due to abnormal water levels, conditions or weather issues beyond our control. If we are forced to cancel a trip we will refund 100% of your money or you can reschedule your trip for any other day during the same season.

Where can I buy food for my adventurous day?  We have our Snack Shack which serves pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, soft serve ice cream, sodas and other tasty snacks.  We also offer catering serves for groups. 

Where can I stay in your area?  We offer camping on the Poto"mac" and Shenan"doah" with prime riverside locations. All of our campsites come with your own picnic table, grill and fire ring.  We sell firewood and some camping supplies as well as snacks for your campsite.  Reservations are required.  Not a camper?  No problem there are hotels, motels, and bed & breakfast establishments within minutes of our headquarters. In addition there are many restaurants and fast food services nearby. Our staff will be happy to give you more information about them.
What if I run late for my trip?  Please be on time for your trips.  We cannot wait for late arrivals as this puts us behind schedule for all other trips for the day.  Plan to arrive for check in one hour before your trip’s scheduled departure so you have time to complete waivers, get your gear, change clothes or purchase any items you forgot to bring with you.  We reserve the right to cancel your trip without a refund in the event you arrive after for confirmed trip time.

What is your cancellation/refund policy?  Groups less than 10 - Due to the cost of processing reservations, there will be a $10 reschedule fee for any reservation that needs to be rescheduled within 7 days of the trip date. There are NO refunds on ANY cancellations or no shows less than 7 days notice.

Groups 10 or more – A 50% deposit is required at the time of the reservation. Due to the cost of processing reservations, there will be a $20 reschedule fee for any reservation that needs to be rescheduled within 14 days of the trip date. There are NO refunds on ANY cancellations or no shows less than 14 days notice.

Do I need to fill out a waiver?  Yes you must complete a waiver in order to participate in any of our adventures.  One Liability form must be completed for each person.  Parents must complete a waiver for each one of their children separately.  If you are bringing children that are not your own or that you do not have guardianship for then you must bring a completed Liability form signed by their own parent.  This policy cannot be compromised, no exceptions.

What should I wear on my trips? 


Temperatures are warm and so is the water so your main concern will be to protect yourself from the sun. River sandals (attached to your feet, no flip flops) or old sneakers make ideal footwear. A bathing suit and a pair of nylon shorts is a good base layer. A long-sleeve synthetic shirt or light windbreaker is good to have in case of a sudden shower or temperature change. A hat, sun block, sunglasses with retaining strap, disposable camera and you’re good to go.

Spring & Fall

Temperatures can vary from slightly warm to down right chilly.  Typically however, water temps will be on the cooler side.  With this in mind here is a list of our suggestions for Spring and Fall rafting and water adventures.

Cotton is an absolute no-no. It will make you cold. We guarantee it. So leave that sweatshirt at home or save it for snuggling into after your trip.

Quick Dry Clothing: Polypropylene, Capilene, Under Armor and Nike Dri-FIT are some excellent choices of synthetic long underwear that is available. This is an excellent investment for  outdoor enthusiasts.  These fabrics are designed to wick moisture away from your body. They are hydrophobic, meaning they do not absorb water; rather they transfer it to your outer layers where it can evaporate keeping your core more comfortable.

Warm Layers:
Next you’ll want to add a layer of fleece or pile. These are thicker and fluffier than your base layer and supply insulation and warmth. Made from synthetic fibers, they will not absorb nearly as much water as natural fibers. Wool provides some insulation when it gets wet but not as much.

Wet Suit/Splash Tops: We recommend wet suits for spring and fall trips unless the day is unseasonably warm. We offer wet suit rentals farmer john (sleeveless style) at $10 or splash tops (neck and wrists rubber closures that prevent water from getting under the jacket). for just $5. These will work great at helping to keep you warm and dry.  Think of it as an insurance policy.  You want to enjoy your day and the rapids and that can be hard to do when you are cold and shivering.

Socks, Gloves and Hats: If your feet are warm, your whole body will be warm. In the spring and fall we recommend neoprene socks or booties. The next best thing is wearing wool or fleece socks with your sneakers. Neoprene, fleece or wool gloves will keep your hands happy. There will be room under your helmet for a hat.