Canoeing & Kayaking Trips for Boy Scouts.

Family canoeing on the Potomac River - River & Trail Outfitters


Progression for Learning & Merit Badges

River & Trail Outfitters CEO and founder is an Eagle Scout from Rochester, Minnesota.  Forty-six years ago he settled in Knoxville, Maryland across the river from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, with the intent of making his passion and career one.

Fast forward to today and find River & Trail a unique outfitter catering to scouts looking for various paddling opportunities & challenges within a 1-3 hour radius of the DC Metro area.  Offering half-day, full-day and multi-day canoe and kayak rentals; River & Trail provides all equipment, shuttle service, and certified guides.  In addition, full-service camping is available at Brunswick Family Campground along the C&O Canal and Potomac River.

Earn Merit Badges!

If your troop is interested in receiving a merit badge, we have merit badge counselors on staff that can help you accomplish your goals.


Blue heron, osprey, and bald eagles offer great bird watching opportunities. Turtles, beavers, and deer can be found gracing the shoreline or in the water. Bring your fishing pole to possibly catch small mouth bass, catfish, or walleye pike.

Novice River Canoeing & Kayaking


  • Shenandoah River above Harpers Ferry, WV

    Paddlers wind their way down river through the scenic Shenandoah Valley, nestled between the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains. Kayaking or canoeing this scenic and mellow river includes navigating small Class I-II rapids, a great combination of relaxation and light riffles & rapids that require basic maneuvering.

  • Potomac River below Harpers Ferry, WV

    Launch from Brunswick Family Campground and paddle a mellow and beautiful section of our Nation’s River. This stretch of the Potomac River is perfect for learning basic paddling strokes and for floating and swimming. Highlights include the Catoctin Creek Aquaduct, the most picturesque aquaduct on the C&O Canal and fantastic bird life.

    • Canoeing & Kayaking day & overnight trips.  Mellow and beginner whitewater paddles are available between Potoma Wayside and the Mouth of the Monocacy.  Two and three day trips are available taking out at Edward’s Ferry or Algonkian Regional Park with camping along the C&O Canal.



Beginner Whitewater Canoeing & Kayaking


  • Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland

    Rated one of the top 60 paddling streams in North America, paddling this scenic and historical creek is for those who have previous experience and have successfully navigated Class II+ rapids in a canoe or kayak before. Highlights of this section include paddling under the well-photographed Burnside Bridge, and floating through sections of Antietam National Battlefield-a cornerstone of our nation’s history.

    • This trip can be made into a half day, full day trip or two day trip.
      See a video of our Kayak & Brunch tour on Antietam Creek.
  • Potomac River below Harpers Ferry

    Paddling this broad and beautiful section of the Potomac River offers the best wild bird sitings on the river. This stretch includes mellow water stretches interspersed with three sets of rapids, last but not least, the challenging Knoxville Falls! Paddlers should have previous experience and successfully navigated Class II+ rapids in a kayak before. Put-in requires carrying the boats down a steep gravel hill.



 Whitewater Canoeing & Sit on top Kayaking

  • Needles of the Potomac River  at Harpers Ferry

    This section of river which affords a beautiful view of Harpers Ferry and the facing rock cliffs, starts with 2 miles of mellow water for before winding through a long section of Class II+ ledges, riffles, and waves at Harpers Ferry.  The Shenandoah River joins the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, where White Horse, the Class III rapid awaits.  Paddlers of this section should have previous whitewater canoeing experience and know how to self-rescue in moving water.  Suitable for ages 12 & up.

    • Inflatable thrill kats or sit on top kayaks available.
  • Shenandoah Staircase at Harpers Ferry

    The most challenging whitewater section in the area, this section of the Shenandoah features a mixture of mellow water, lots of Class II+ riffles & ledges, and two Class III rapids (Bull Falls & White Horse Rapids).  Inflatable thrill kats or sit on top kayaks are available for this run for ages 12 yrs & 90 lbs. Guides and a riverside picnic (on some trips) are included for this half day option.

Premiere Paddle

  • Paw Paw Bends of the Potomac River

    Cited by many as the most scenic section of the Potomac, this wilderness section of the river features wide lazy loops through Green Ridge State Forest.  The forest is unique in that it contains more species of trees than the entire continent of Europe.  Two day trip from Paw Paw to Little Orleans is available totaling 22 miles.  Camping is along the C&O Canal and the Green Ridge State Forest. Call us for more info. 301-834-9950.

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