Whitewater Kayaking

Thrilling Potomac and Shenandoah River Kayaking

This half day trip follows the same course as the Whitewater 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 where 2 rivers (the Shenandoah and Potomac) and three states (Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) come together.

Kayak the river in a Duckie

The name might not sound so courageous, but don’t be fooled by the funny name! The Duckie is a sit-on-top, inflatable kayak. Paddling a Duckie offers all the options of a hard kayak, but does not restrict you. If your Duckie flips over, you don’t need to know how to do an Eskimo roll – just climb back on your Duckie and start paddling. Try surfing waves, riding fun wave trains, and experiencing the whitewater rapids of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, one on one.

This guide-assisted adventure 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 reaching the rapids. Guides will be available for questions, basic paddling tips and river safety orientation.

Experience history, heritage, and wildlife

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 Heights (MD), and Loudoun Heights (VA).

When your journey has come to the end, there’s no need to 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 whitewater rafting and inflatable kayak trips, and our all-terrain vehicles provide transportation for both guests and gear. If you prefer to enjoy a walk after your trip – no problem at all, and you will enjoy more of the gorgeous views and scenic atmosphere.

Whitewater Kayak Trip Rates

(Please note: all listed rates are peak season rates, Memorial Day – Labor Day. Rates outside of peak season are discounted.)

Monday, Thursday, & Friday $55
Saturday $72
Sunday $65

Book Whitewater Kayaking >>

Or call to book

(540) 668-9007

(Kids ages 6-12 receive a $5 discount)
(6% Sales Tax additional. A $3 river fee and $1 service fee per person will be added.)

Whitewater Kayak Trip Departure Times

  • Sunday, Monday, Thursday, & Friday: 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm.
  • Saturday: 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm.

Trip Details

  • Trips are scheduled daily March-October and follow the same course as our whitewater 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.
  • Any person participating in an activity with Harpers Ferry Adventure Center must complete a Liability Waiver.

Other trip times may be available. Please call us at (540) 668-9007 for more information.

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center wants to ensure you have a quality trip. We run our whitewater 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.

We are not pet friendly at this time except for service animals which must have proper identification.

Check out our FAQ page for Cancellation/Refund Policy

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