Canoe Lessons

  • Dates: Apr – Nov
  • Duration: Varies
  • Price: Canoe rental + instructor cost
  • Includes: Boat, equipment, shuttle, guide(s)
  • Location: Knoxville, MD near Harpers Ferry, WV

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River and Trail Outfitters in Knoxville, Maryland offers canoeing instruction appropriate to any age, ability, and interest. All classes are led by an American Canoe Association certified instructor and are held on the nearby Potomac, Shenandoah Rivers, and Antietam Creek near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, only one hour from Washington DC and Baltimore beltways.

Non-Profit Groups

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Schools, Churches, Government Agencies, Military and other non-profit groups can receive group instruction from our experienced canoe school staff. Merit badge programs and counselors are available for scouts. River & Trail can customize a program that will suit the needs and fulfill the goals of any group. From half day to guided multi-day canoe-camping trips to canoe lessons on a lake, we can accommodate any group searching for a total outdoor educational experience.

Cost of the program is canoe rental fees + $200 per ACA certified instructor, per day. Canoe rental rates for non-profits range from $54-$63 + tax/day. Depending on your program goals and the difficulty of the river, we recommend one instructor per 5-10 canoes.

For more information on the river trips we offer, please take a look at our canoe trips. Trips to the remote areas of the Cacapon River and Paw Paw Bends on the Potomac are also available in the spring and when water levels permit.

 Adult Groups

Flatwater Canoeing Lessons

Recommended for novice canoeists as well as for more experienced paddlers who have never received professional instruction. Dry land instruction will cover safety, gear, clothing, and the concepts of efficient paddling. On the river we’ll practice self and assisted rescue as well as learn how to effectively maneuver the canoe using basic paddling strokes and techniques. Flatwater paddling can be an end in itself, or a solid foundation from which to move on to white water.

Beginner Whitewater Canoeing Lessons

Designed for individuals who have completed the flat water canoe lesson or who are already proficient in basic canoe strokes and maneuvers. This lesson will emphasize the safety concerns specific to paddling in moving water and will introduce the canoeist to water-reading techniques, paddle strokes, and maneuvers in currents. Paddlers will learn to run Class I, II and possibly III rapids safely and comfortably.