Thrilling Potomac and Shenandoah River Kayaking
This half-day kayaking trip follows the same course as our popular Whitewater Rafting trip and is the perfect option for guests in good physical condition, looking for a more challenging adventure. White water kayakers get to explore Class I and Class II rapids (and sometimes, Class III) on this 7-mile stretch of the beautiful Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers near Harpers Ferry.
Kayak the river in a Duckie
Don’t be fooled by the funny name! Duckies are inflatable kayaks that seat one person each. The trip begins with a short flat water section on the Shenandoah River where you can practice paddling and steering before reaching the white water. No previous experience is necessary, and our guides will be available for questions, kayak instruction, basic paddling skills tips and river safety orientation.
Scenery & History
On your kayaking trip, you’ll be in one of the most scenic river areas in North America. On top of that, our guests sometimes catch sight of blue herons, ospreys, and once in a while, even a bald eagle! As you paddle downstream you’ll get to 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 your whitewater kayaking trip, you’ll encounter Bull’s Tail, the Shenandoah’s mile-long Staircase, Mad Dog, White Horse, Hesitation Ledge, Roller Coaster, and more!
You’ll paddle right by the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and experience the section of the river that has the view Thomas Jefferson claimed was “worth a trip across the Atlantic”. You’ll then continue your trip on the Potomac starting at the world-renowned gap between Bolivar West Virginia, Maryland Heights Maryland, and Loudoun Heights, Virginia.
At the end of your kayak journey, ride in style and comfort with an ATV ride back to the top from our exclusive private take-out. If you prefer to enjoy a walk after your trip – no problem at all, and you will enjoy more of the gorgeous views as you finish your outdoor activities.
Combine a kayaking trip with a visit to Old Town Harpers Ferry WV and you can enjoy a great day of river adventure and civil war history combined! It all makes for an awesome day trip from Washington DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylania.
Included in your Trip
- Duckie Kayak Rental, Kayak Paddle, and Helmet
- PFD (Personal Flotation Device, sometimes called a life jacket)
- Shuttle to and from the river
- A beverage during the trip
Our River guides are there to assist from a kayak or raft.
No previous experience is necessary.
Whitewater Kayak Trip Rates
(Closed Tuesday & Wednesday)
For Next Day Reservations, Call us to Book
Additional Fees: 6% Sales Tax, $2 Service Fee per person, DNR Fee $2 and Riverkeepers Cleanup Fee $1.
Thursday through Monday (weather dependent)
10am, 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm
Have your own Kayak and just need a place to park & a shuttle to & from the river? Our river shuttles are there for you.
Important Information to Know
- Reservations are required
- Duckies seat one person per craft.
- YOU WILL GET WET on your duckie kayaking trip, so dress appropriately.
- We run our whitewater river trips when water levels are above 2 feet and below 10 feet on the Shenandoah River.
- If the river levels are too low, we will recommend a different activity or an alternate route. If the water levels are too high, we postpone trips for your safety.
- As one of the most experienced river outfitters in the Shenandoah Valley area, Harpers Ferry Adventure Center wants to ensure you have a safe river trip, so children must be at least 10 years old and be accompanied by an adult.
- River conditions affect the age requirement.
- Any person participating in an activity with Harpers Ferry Adventure Center must complete a Liability Waiver.
- ALL PARTICIPANTS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 MUST HAVE A LIABILITY WAIVER COMPLETED BY PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN.
At the time of booking, all guests must fill out a liability waiver for each participant in a booking. For fastest service, we recommend that you read and sign the liability waiver online during the purchase process. At that time a link to the online liability waiver is made available for sending via email to other participants in your booking so that they can also read and sign their waivers in advance of the trip.
Please note that anyone under the age of 18 MUST have a waiver filled out by a LEGAL parent or guardian.
Want to enjoy Potomac & Shenandoah River adventures a couple times or more this season? Season Passes are a great way to enjoy the river adventures all summer long! Gift Certificates are also available – a great way to give family and friends a fun and memorable experience.
For more outdoor activities and Potomac and Shenandoah river trip ideas, check out our whitewater rafting and whitewater tubing trips, camping & cabins, zipline tours, and our aerial ropes course. Or, if you prefer a mellow and relaxing time with your friends or family, check our flat water river tubing offering!
For Next Day Reservations, Call us to Book