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White Water Kayaking - the Duckie

Ready for the next level of adventure?  Enjoy Potomac Shenandoah River Kayaking near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Then the Duckie is the craft for you! The name might not sound so courageous, but do not be fooled by the funny name!

This half day trip follows the same course as the White Water Rafting trip and is the perfect option for guests in good physical condition, looking for a more challenging adventure. You will explore Class I-III (sometimes I-II+) rapids on this 7 mile stretch of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers near Harpers Ferry, WV where 2 rivers (the Shenandoah and Potomac) and three states (Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) come together for a thrilling Shenandoah and Potomac Kayak experience.

What is a Duckie?

It’s a sit-on-top, inflatable kayak which is different from a traditional hard shell kayak. Similar to kayaking, paddling a Duckie offers all the options of a hard boat, but does not restrict you – you are not strapped into the boat. If your inflatable kayak flips over, you simply fall out. No need to know how to Eskimo roll – climb back on your Duckie and start paddling. The Duckie seats one person and allows you to take control of your path. Try surfing waves, riding fun wave trains, and experiencing the whitewater rapids of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers one on one.

This is a guide assisted adventure and is suitable for both beginner and experienced paddlers.

The trip begins with a short flat water section on the Shenandoah River where you can practice paddling and steering in flat water, before you reach the rapids. Guides will be available for questions, basic paddling tips and river safety orientation. You can also watch for local wildlife while paddling this section; you might see blue herons, ospreys, and maybe even a bald eagle!

Next… what’s that sound? That’s not banjo music you hear. It’s the roar of Bull Falls! You’ll hear it before you see it and before you know it you’ll feel like a daredevil as you brave the drop at Bull Falls and navigate the twists and turns of Lunch Rock Follies and the moody current of Mad Dog.

As you continue downstream you’ll encounter: Bull’s Tail, the Shenandoah’s mile-long Staircase, Mad Dog, White Horse, Hesitation Ledge, Roller Coaster, and more! You’ll float right by the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and experience the view Thomas Jefferson claimed was “worth a trip across the Atlantic” as you meet the mighty Potomac at the world-renowned gap between Bolivar (WV), Maryland (MD), and Loudoun Heights (VA).

When your journey has come to the end, don’t walk up a steep hill at the public take out. Instead, ride in style and comfort with an ATV ride back to the top from our exclusive private take-out. We are the only outfitter to provide a private take-out area for white water rafting and inflatable kayak trips. ATVs provide transportation for guests and gear. The new private take-out is the latest in river conveniences, exclusive to Harpers Ferry Adventure Center. This luxury eliminates the steep hill to climb at the public take-out. If you prefer to enjoy a walk after your trip, that is of course, fine with us and you can enjoy the gorgeous views and scenic atmosphere.

Stimulate your senses and embrace the funny name with a white water Duckie adventure that combines white water skills and thrills with a landscape rich in history, heritage, and wildlife only 1 hr from DC and Baltimore!

If you looking for something a bit mellower than whitewater, you might also consider a recreational our park and play canoe or kayak trip.  

Trip Times: 

  • Daily Spring and Fall 10:00am and 2:00pm
    Additional trip times may be added based on availability and demand
  • Daily During the Summer (Memorial Day - Labor Day) Weekdays 10:00am and 2:00pm, Weekends 9:30am and 2:30pm
    Additional trip times may be added based on availability and demand


Monday-Friday     $55
Saturday                  $65
Sunday                     $60

(6% Sales Tax and $2 User Fee per person must be added)

Any person participating in an activity with Harpers Ferry Adventure Center must complete a Liability Waiver.


White Water Inflatable Kayak Trip Details: The fine print
  • Trips are scheduled daily March-October and follow the same course as our white water rafting trip.
  • All trips include: the Duckie, a guide in a kayak or guides assisting via raft(s), PFD (Personal Flotation Device), helmet, paddle, beverage during the trip, and shuttle to and from the river.
  • No previous experience is necessary.
  • Duckies seat one person per craft.
  • Children must be at least 10 years old and be accompanied by an adult. Age requirements may vary due to river conditions.
  • YOU WILL GET WET, so dress appropriately.
  • Reservations are required.

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center wants to ensure you have a quality trip. We run our white water trips when water levels are above 2 feet and below 10 feet on the Shenandoah River. If we feel the water is too low, we will recommend a different activity or alternate route. If water levels are too high, we postpone trips for your safety.
Visit our Kayak Safety page to learn more about how to safely enjoy kayaking on the Potomac River!